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Meet Our Massachusetts Student Leaders for 2022-2023

By Jewish Boston | September 22, 2022

StandWithUs is pleased to announce this year's Kenneth Leventhal high school interns and Emerson fellows.

Leventhal Interns 2022-23 Conference

The StandWithUs 2022-23 Kenneth Leventhal high school interns from Massachusetts are: Noa Amir, junior at Newton North High School; Yael Bar-Or, senior at Newton South High School; Eitan Pessin, junior at Classical High School; Jack Bedar, senior at Westborough High School; Maia Ben-Joseph, junior at Sharon High School; Amy Danushevsky, junior at Algonguin Regional High School; Arielle Mogolosko, senior at Marblehead High School; Talia Ofek, senior at Lexington High School; Tamar Ruderman, senior at Gann Academy; Tomer Shubert, senior at Brookline High School; Julia Shulman, junior at Needham HS; and Leeyah Soen, senior at Andover High School.

The 2022-23 Emerson fellows are: sophomore Asher Chamoy, Harvard University; Junior Eliyahu Suskind, Babson College; sophomores Sabrina Chevlin and Shira Ashkenazi, Northeastern University; sophomore Neima Fax, Brandeis University; sophomore Ian Kaplan, Tufts University; and Alon Trogan is a senior at the University of Massachusetts.

Similar to previous years, the local student leaders join 150 students who were selected for each of the two programs throughout North America.

Created in 2012, the StandWithUs Kenneth Leventhal High School Internship selects and trains student leaders from high schools throughout he United States and Canada to educate about Israel at their schools and to combat antisemitism. During the two-semester program, the Leventhal interns, who are juniors and seniors, identify the educational needs at their schools as they pertain to Israel and to antisemitism, whether they are rooted in misinformation, ignorance or outright hatred. Then, working with their StandWithUs regional high school managers, they develop a strategy to meet those needs through relevant and practical educational programming.

Founded in 2007, the year-long Emerson Fellowship is a prestigious program that trains, educates, and empowers student leaders on college campuses around the world. Chosen from key campuses, Emerson Fellows lead their campus communities, engage and inspire their peers through impactful educational events, campaigns, and discussions about Israel. These fellows are also trained extensively on how to navigate antisemitic activity on campus, and how to mobilize and confront these issues strategically and effectively. Throughout their experience, Emerson fellows are plugged into a global community of student leaders where they can exchange ideas, share best practices, and support each other.

Students in both programs attended their respective conferences in August, preparing them for the school year. They learned how to identify and combat anti-Israel campaigns including utilizing the StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department and Center for Combating Antisemitism. They explored the history of Israel and reviewed the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while learning how to have rich conversations about Israel. Students gained leadership skills and had regional breakouts with their managers. They left energized and confident, with ideas for programming. Many reported having experienced antisemitic incidents and now feel better prepared to effectively respond to them.

They will also participate in a second StandWithUs conference, “Israel in Focus” from March 2-5, 2023. Held in Los Angeles, the conference is open to both student leaders and community members. Students have their own track, there are breakout sessions and everyone joins the plenaries to hear from renowned experts from all over the world.

Worcester State University 2022 graduate and Commonwealth honors scholar Karen Shalev, who received summa cum laude honors for her 4.0 GPA, continues as the StandWithUs New England campus regional manager. She is also pursuing her Master of science in communication at Clark University.

Maya Weiser is the new StandWithUs High School regional manager for New England. Raised in Tel Mond in central Israel, Maya was involved in the Tzofim movement, which holds Zionism as a core moral value.

“Each year, I remain impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity of our awesome Massachusetts high school and college student leaders. They learn from previous participants in our programs and nominate candidates for the coming year,” stated Avi Posnick, regional director of StandWithUs Northeast and New England. “As antisemitism continues to rise, including in Boston, these students—already leaders in their schools and communities—are fully prepared to confront these challenges while also organizing programming that shares the beauty, accomplishments and experience of Israel.”

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