Philadelphia Jewish Link
As anti-Israel sentiment continues to increase and anti-Semitism becomes more and more widespread, there is a dire need to dispel the myths about these two issues that are so critical to the Jewish community through education and countering the falsities that are propagated on a daily basis.
Since its inception in 2001, StandWithUs has been at the forefront of the effort to do just that. An international and non-partisan Israel education organization, StandWithUs inspires and educates people of all ages and backgrounds, challenges misinformation, and fights anti-Semitism. With chapters on five continents, StandWithUs empowers and energizes students and communities with leadership training and educational programs on hundreds of college campuses, high schools, and middle schools, as well as informs and influences public opinion through social media, print and digital materials, films, weekly newsletters and missions to Israel.
On Thursday, December 19, the local community will have the opportunity to support this important organization at the StandWithUs Philadelphia Fourth Annual Defenders of Israel Gala Dinner. The event, which will feature the group’s outstanding high school and college student leaders, will take place at Har Zion Temple, which is located at 1500 Hagys Ford Road in Penn Valley. The dinner will feature Glatt Kosher catering by Elite Catering and is being co-chaired by Neil Cooper, Andy Cherry and Bruce Risler.
Local philanthropist Jeffrey Barrack is the organization’s 2019 Defender of Israel Honoree. A partner in the law firm of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine who has represented plaintiffs in securities fraud, antitrust and other class actions since joining the firm in 1996, Barrack is a strong supporter of StandWithUs. Barrack firmly believes in StandWithUs’ mission of supporting Israel and recognizes the importance of providing our students with the education and resources they need to combat anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitism in their schools. In addition to his affiliation with StandWithUs, Barrack, who is very active in Jewish communal life, is a member of the National Development Committee of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel and has served on several boards, including National Young Leadership Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and Hillel of Greater Philadelphia. He is a Senate Club Member of AIPAC and serves on AIPAC’s Philadelphia Leadership Council.
At the December 19 event, StandWithUs will also present the Campus Award to Marcus Bernstein, a 2019-20 StandWithUs Emerson Fellow at Drexel University. Among Bernstein’s many programming accomplishments, he brought Cherie Goren, a Holocaust survivor, to speak and organized a silent “Walk To Remember” around campus during Drexel’s Yom HaShoah program. Last year, Bernstein was a BICEP Fellow (Building Israel Connections Engagement Project) and worked closely with Drexel Hillel and StandWithUs on programming.
Shaqed Tzabbar, a 2019-20 StandWithUs High School intern from Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (JBHA), will receive the High School Award. Tzabbar brings a great degree of enthusiasm to her work as a high school intern, having produced almost twenty programs at JBHA, even while she was spending a semester in Israel.
The event will also feature Mayor Oded Revivi of Efrat, Israel, who will serve as the keynote speaker. A statesman, orator, lawyer, and prominent advocate for the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, Mayor Revivi is a staunch advocate of co-existence and fostering improved relationships with Efrat’s neighboring Palestinians villages. He has met with the StandWithUs Leadership Missions in Jerusalem and spoken about how the work of StandWithUs helps keep his community strong.
“I am so thrilled to join StandWithUs and to be a part of this generous and dedicated community that loves and supports Israel and is committed to the fight against anti-Semitism,” said Paula Joffe, Associate Regional Director of the StandWithUs Mid-Atlantic Region. “I look forward to building on the important work we accomplished together and to expanding and reaching new audiences with factual information and programming. Most impressive are our StandWithUs students – our high school interns and campus Emerson fellows – who continuously and bravely educate about Israel and combat anti-Semitism at their schools and beyond.
“We’re proud to honor Jeff Barrack, who so clearly understands the importance of defending Israel at our schools and universities,” added Joffe. “I’m excited to welcome keynote speaker Mayor Oded Revivi, who voices his support for StandWithUs and our fight against BDS. He meets with the StandWithUs Leadership Missions in Israel and now, the Greater Philadelphia region can meet him too!”
To register for the StandWithUs Philadelphia Fourth Annual Defenders of Israel Gala Dinner, visit www.standwithus.com/pagala2019 or call 484.730.8544.
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