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StandWithUs UK hosts Rabbi Leo Dee with Communal and Student Leaders

23 October 2023

StandWithUs UK were honoured to host Rabbi Leo Dee with other communal and student leaders in a gathering of solidarity and unity. Rabbi Dee’s visit comes at a crucial time for the Jewish community; as we mourn the loss of life and the horrific acts of violence which occurred on the 7th of October, the importance of fostering a strong unified response in the wake of such tragedies is vital.

Represented at the gathering were leaders from the BOD, UJIA, S&P, Israel Bonds and other key communal groups. Edwin Shuker, Vice President of the Board of Deputies, commented that, ‘Rabbi Leo Dee combines a unique blend of spirituality with pragmatism. He has managed to turn a personal tragedy into inspiration and grief into hope’.

Guests were engaged and asked tough questions relating to Israel’s security concerns, the state of affairs for the British Jewish community, and what we can all do to help advocate for Israel. The roundtable will hopefully be a series of engagements with key communal players in bringing them together to encourage cohesiveness and unity.

In his address, Rabbi Dee encouraged leaders in the community to go out and educate their communities and supporters on Israel, as well as to support as much as we can the ability of our young people to create and share educational content with their circles. He emphasised how important it was for each organisation to frame the war as one of ‘good versus evil’. 

Most poignantly was Rabbi Dee’s commentary on optimism; it was heartwarming to hear him remind us all that we grow as a people through suffering, and we will again grow from this and overcome.

Isaac Zarfati, Executive Director for StandWithUs UK, said, ‘Rabbi Leo Dee is an inspirational figure. His personal story encapsulates the struggle of the Jewish people in their homeland. The optimism and wisdom that emanate from him strengthen all of us in the righteous struggle we are currently engaged in.’


This event was part of StandWithUs UK’s efforts to engage with the community, providing them with the necessary support during these critical times.

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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