Israeli Embassy Organizes Hackathon to Fight Antisemitism

“Innovative thinking is needed to address old challenges, such as the problem of antisemitism that refuses to die”

By Yossi Aloni |
Photo: Israeli Embassy in Poland

The Israeli Embassy in Warsaw organized a Hackathon to combat hate speech and antisemitism on the Internet with Israelis coding alongside Polish, German, French and American students.

The students participated in the initiative to develop innovative technologies in the fight against antisemitism in the Hackathon organized by the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw in collaboration with the Polish Museum and other local partners.

For 48 hours, Israeli and foreign students worked in mixed teams and presented their innovative solutions to the professional Judging Committee.

Participating teams had access to a data system that allows real-time scanning of over 5 million sources on the Web (sites, forums, and social media) to detect and identify antisemitic behavior and hate-speech. The winning venture received a US $16,000 cash prize from the US Embassy in Poland and Amazon with the intention of funding the continued development of the technology until its launch.

Josh Haim’s Haet Map venture, a student in the Innovation-Entrepreneurship Center at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya together with 3 team members from Germany and Poland won first place. The concept uses AI and Machine Learning technologies to collect and map centers of antisemitic on the Web.

Various governments and agencies will be able to use this information and the databases to combat antisemitism and hatred.

In a statement, Alex Ben-Zvi, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland said: “In recent years there has been a sharp rise in reports of antisemitic incidents around the world. It is only fitting that the State of Israel as a technological leader in innovation should offer original solutions to this ancient problem. It is especially meaningful that here in Poland where Jews lived for over a thousand years that we could coordinate this unique event together with Polish and international partners. The purpose of the Hackathon is to create technological solutions to combat antisemitism in all its ugly manifestations and to raise awareness of the importance of the struggle internationally. Participants in the Hackathon were accompanied by an international team of mentors from Poland, Israel, Germany, France and the US in various areas of expertise. The embassy team has been working on the project for many months with a deep sense of mission and commitment to the subject, and we see the project as an excellent opportunity to send an important message to the world about the need to combine forces and work together to eradicate the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.”

Prof. Dov Falkman, Dean of the Arison School of Business at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya added: “Nowadays innovative thinking is needed to address old challenges, such as the problem of antisemitism that refuses to die. This project is of great importance and together with partners from around the world we expect to develop solutions that will form the basis for change.”

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