The Conference of European Rabbis asked the Unicode Consortium for emojis showing men in kippahs and women in head coverings.
Rabat – After an initiative to add the image of a Torah scroll to the emoji library, The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) has asked the Unicode Consortium for new emojis that show men in kippahs and women in head coverings as a way to make the emoji selection more inclusive.
The CER turned to the Unicode Consortium as it exists to develop a universal character encoding scheme which allows people around the world to use computers in any language.
The nonprofit consortium also selects the emoji icons used by the world’s smartphones based on submissions from individuals and organizations who present their case with evidence for why each one is essential.
“There are emojis of women in the hijab and Arab clerics, and the Jews have been forgotten,” the CER wrote. “The need for equality and non-discrimination begins with the small things, which in this case may seem minor but have enormous significance and long-term effects.
The WhatsApp application is used daily by millions of citizens around the world, especially the young.”
Making emojis more inclusive by including some that look like traditional Jews is a way to make the world more inclusive, the letter to the Consortium said.
Gronich, Chief of Staff of the CER, claimed in his letter that “in a world where we hope to accept the differen[ces] and be pluralistic, it seems that the Jewish religion and its symbols are not part of diversity. Our daily struggle against antisemitism starts with the small things of assimilating the Jewish religion on various platforms that expose it and become the norm.
The omission of our religion and its symbols in such a wide media is leaving its mark and makes us the exception and those not represented.”
“If it is legitimate to present a family consisting of two men or two women, and to present the traditional attire of the Islamic religion, we believe that there is room for presenting Jewish symbols as well,” it also said.
“The Jewish religion should not be left behind; it should be brought to the center of public discourse and made equal among the other religions.”
Jewish-related emojis currently available are a synagogue, the Star of David, and the Israeli flag.