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Lobby Day, Beverly Fairfax Event, SWU Conference

Jewish Journal

Ryan Torok

August 29, 2019


Top Left to Right:

Meshi Benezri, Woodbridge HS; Gabrielle Lasry, Shalhevet High School; Kate Chavez, StandWithUs Southwest High School Coordinator;

Eli Safaie-Kia and Kian Mirshokri, Palisades Charter High School and Gavriel Gershov, YULA Boys


Bottom Left to Right:

Maya Silberstein, Newbury Park High School and Priel Nikoo, Milken Community Schools

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Approximately 200 student leaders arrived in Los Angeles from cities throughout the United States and Canada to participate in StandWithUs (SWU) conferences for high school interns and SWU college Emerson Fellows, from Aug. 5-15.



The students increased their knowledge and organizational skills so they can begin their fall semesters with strength, according to the pro-Israel education organization.

The SWU Emerson Fellows include Chloe Levian of Santa Monica College, Justin Feldman of UCLA and Zohar Rabinovich of USC.


During the conferences, SWU high school and campus professionals reviewed Israel’s history, provided updates of events in the Middle East and reviewed the full variety of narratives that students will hear at their high schools and college campuses. Students learned how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and when it crosses the line into anti-Semitism. The students’ legal rights were reviewed and they heard how the SWU Saidoff Legal Department can help them with legal issues at their schools and in their communities. They also learned about SWU’s newest initiative, the StandWithUs Center for Combating Anti-Semitism, and its work to educate and inform, and in identifying and confronting hatred.


SWU educator Hussein Aboubakr shared his harrowing story of being jailed and tortured in Egypt for daring to learn about Israel and Jews, and how he found asylum in the U.S. and at SWU. There were sessions on identifying and combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.


Students also had fun, according to SWU. They danced, sang and celebrated their love for Israel with their new network of pro-Israel friends.

“They will return to their schools and communities energized to begin inspiring their friends about Israel and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric,” SWU said.


Read the full article HERE

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