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StandWithUs UK honours Lord Ian Austin with the prestigious ‘Beacon of Light’ Award

5 September 2023

At a private reception hosted annually for the charity by Her Excellency Tzipi Hotovely, StandWithUs UK were proud to honour Lord Ian Austin with the ‘Beacon of Light’ Award, in recognition of his resilient support for Israel as the one and only Jewish State. In his speech, Austin acknowledged that, ‘because of some of the appalling things we see on campuses, the work StandWithUs do has never been more important. Your work with StandWithUs equips you with the arguments and skills you need to tell the truth about the world’s only Jewish state and the Middle East’s only democracy’. 

Gathered at the reception were close friends, as well as students of the charity who were recognised for their activism on campuses across the UK.

Ambassador Hotovely shared with the students in attendance that their activism stems from “telling Israel’s story”. She commented that people often debate what it means for Israel to be a Jewish State, but we mustn’t forget that, “being a democracy is what it means to be Jewish and we must be proud of it”.

The evening was part of a full-day Emerson Fellowship conference at JW3. The Emerson Fellowship is an annual student leadership program which empowers and inspires student leaders at universities throughout the United Kingdom. The programme provides tools, develops professional skills and extensive, in-depth, knowledge about Israel and the Jewish people.

20 student representatives from a diverse range of backgrounds, Jewish and non-Jewish, gathered to receive extensive training and mentorship, to deepen their education and develop a unique skillset: critical thinking, public speaking, the practicalities of event-planning, investigative journalism and digital marketing - all with the professional support of qualified staff.

During the conference, students heard from keynote speakers such as Michael Dickson, Executive Director from StandWithUs Israel, Charlotte Korchak, Lead Educator for the charity, as well as UJS Campaigns Officer Guy Dabby-Joory.

About StandWithUs UK:

StandWithUs is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organisation that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Founded in 2010, StandWithUs UK has become a recognised support system and leading resource for students on UK campuses. We empower and energise students and communities with leadership training and educational programmes on both school and university campuses. StandWithUs informs through social media, printed materials, digital platforms, film and newsletters. The StandWithUs flagship Emerson Fellowship programme seeks to raise students into future leaders, equipped to stand strong in the face of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. We believe in the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland of Israel. We educate the facts in an unbiased and holistic manner, with an open mind, reflecting on views from all sides of the political, social and humanitarian spectrum whilst promoting peace. StandWithUs UK believe the current discourse surrounding Israel on campus all too often crosses the line between legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies and the dangerous, mainstream, antisemitic rhetoric which stands contrary to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. We work to educate on that distinction, encourage civil discourse on legitimate criticism of Israel, and to fight antisemitism wherever it emerges.


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