Muslim women marched in yarmulkes as part of a spectacular display of unity.

Incidents of anti-Semitism have been on the rise in Germany.

Things have gotten so bad that — after a recent crime targeting two men because of their religious clothing — the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany warned Jewish people against wearing a kippa (skullcap).

Far-right groups have tried to shift the blame for these crimes to Muslim immigrants.

The tensions between Muslim and Jewish peoples is a story nearly as old as time itself. Far-right groups in Germany have tried to capitalize on this stereotype by blaming the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes on Muslims.


But these crimes are not being carried out by Muslims against Jews.

A report from Germany's Interior Ministry shows that the exact opposite is true: 1,381 of the 1,468 reported anti-Semitic crimes in 2016 were in fact carried out by the same far-right groups trying to stir tension between the two communities of faith.

"They try to use the 'We stand with the Jews so we can't be racist, we're not anti-Semitic' line, which is of course what they are." said Dalia Grinfeld, president of the Jewish Student Union of Germany.

Instead of living in fear, people in Germany organized "Kippa March" rallies to show their support for Jewish people.

Thousands of people turned out in Berlin for the event. And among those marching were many Muslims, including women who bravely donned kippa in a stunning display of solidarity.

The display of unity was inspiring and potentially transformative.

This wasn't even the first recent unity act between the Muslim and Jewish communities, who held a bike ride in March to show their support and solidarity.

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

One recent attack showed how horrific and indiscriminate hate crimes can be. A young man attacked in Germany wasn't even Jewish. An Israeli of Arab descent, he'd worn the kippa to highlight the risks Jewish people are currently facing in Germany.

The responses from people of all different backgrounds in Germany has been a loving display of unity. One German newspaper even made a cut out kippa for people to wear to the marches.

Tension between people of different faiths seems to grab all the attention. But it's good to be reminded that there's love in the world .

With far-right groups getting more attention in America and across Europe, it's easy to focus on what's wrong in the world today.

And the very real threat of violence against marginalized groups should never be ignored.

But in moments of fear and hate, we're reminded that compassion and solidarity are a far greater force for good that easily eclipses whatever challenges we face.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.