Billboard in Providence raising questions

By Ana Bottary

abottary@abc6.com

@anabottary

A pink billboard along I-95 in Providence may have caught your eye while driving, and not just because of the color. The message on it reads "Too Jewish? Challenge Your Assumptions," followed by a website to visit. Drivers tell ABC6 that at first glance the billboard comes off as distasteful.

"It seems like this ambiguous, hateful, thing that’s like looking for a lot of inquiry and I am not super stoked about it, to say the least," says Providence resident, Peter Enriquez.

"I also don’t agree that you can be too Jewish? I don’t understand what they are trying to get at or sell, so it really just bothers me," says Sarah Atkinson, another Providence resident.
 
Adam Tilove is head of the Jewish Community Day school in Rhode Island, which is behind the billboard. Tilove says the idea came about after often hearing people say they didn’t want to send their kids to the school because it was "too Jewish."
 
"I said, ‘what is too Jewish?’ We consider Jewish to be something that makes us inquisitive and reflective and ethical and thoughtful and kind, and you can’t be too much of any of those things. So we wanted to take that challenge and turn it into our strength," says Tilove.
 
The website listed on the billboard is a vibrant page explaining why parents should consider enrolling their students at the Jewish Community Day School.

"I think it is true that often Jews don’t advertise in big, bold ways, and there are reasons for that that are historical. The greatest threat to us is assimilation and we want people to own their religion and feel proud of it," adds Tilove.

© WLNE-TV 2015