An odd truth of Jewish culture is that, no matter how devout they are, every Jewish person thinks they’re a “bad Jew” by not being observant enough. But even those who haven’t been to synagogue in years have a deep – if not complicated – connection to their culture and heritage. This rebranding campaign was created for Jews by Jews in a shout out to all the MOTs, no matter how good or bad they might be. And amid the current wave of antisemitism, it’s more important than ever for Jews to gain strength from their Jewish identity.
The recently launched work is a campaign that honors those who are part of the tribe and who are participating in their own way—including not participating at all. The work from advertising agency Common Good includes a website, www.BadJewMafia.com, offering branded apparel, accessories and skateboards. In addition to the website, Common Good created out-of-home street posters running in New York, a low-fi unboxing experience for influencers, and one 30 video living online at www.BadJewMafia.com.
Given free rein to design an experiment to encourage young, lapsed Jews to rethink what it means to live a Jewish life, Common Good chose to help these ‘untethered’ Jews celebrate their rebellion against the expectations and traditions of their community. The campaign imagined the community of untethered Jews as a decentralized, punk-rock “bad Jew mafia.”
Channeling the American punk-rock vibe, streetwear and posters proclaim sentiments such as “Unorthodox AF,” “I’ll Fast When I’m Dead,” “Kvetch City, Bitch,” and “I Killed Kosher.” Not to mention all manner of Jewish iconography like the Star of David, a dreidel and a menorah.
“Many young Jews feel disconnected from Judaism, and as a result, we are choosing not to engage,” says Jake Barnes, director of business strategy at Common