The StandWithUs 2022-23 Kenneth Leventhal High School Interns in New Jersey are Abigail Kushman, Tenafly High School; Ellie Weisberg, Frisch School; Gabriel Silverstein, Princeton High School; Rebecca Sclove, Princeton Day School; Raimee Schanzer, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School For Girls; Sara Cole, Cherry Hill High School West; Yuval Harari, Cresskill High School; and Ella Alfassy, Cherokee High School.
Junior Jared Stone at Princeton University and senior Jada Mayo from Rutgers University are the 2022-23 StandWithUs Emerson Fellows.
Similar to previous years, the local student leaders join 150 students who were selected for each of the two programs in high schools and campuses throughout North America.
Created in 2012, the StandWithUs Kenneth Leventhal High School Internship selects and trains student leaders from high schools throughout the United States and Canada to educate others about Israel and to combat antisemitism at their schools. 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 and 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,” 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.
Jolie Davies continues as the StandWithUs tri-state high school regional manager, and Amit Ankawa continues as tri-state campus regional manager.
“Each year, I remain impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity of our awesome New Jersey 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 & New England. “As antisemitism continues to rise, including in New Jersey, 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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