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Students get a lesson on Zionism and antisemitism

Jewish Rhode Island

January 7, 2021


Top row (left to right): Stephanie Margolis, StandWithUs New England high school coordinator and Carly Gammill, director StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism. Bottom row: Eliza Kanner, StandWithUs New England campus coordinator PHOTO | STANDWITHUS


High school and college students explored the truth of the oft-repeated phrase, “I’m not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist,” at a Dec. 9 webinar organized by StandWithUs New England in partnership with Israel Campus Roundtable and Alpha Epsilon Pi.


Gathered on Zoom, the students were first asked to answer this question: “True or false: anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic.” A second poll asked the students, “What is Zionism?”


Carly Gammill, director of the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, then told the group that Zionism is “an integral component of Jewish identity expressed in terms of religion, culture, ethnicity and/or national origin.”


It is important for Zionists to understand the definition of Zionism in order to explain why anti-Zionism is an attack on someone’s identity, making it discriminatory, Gammill said.


At the conclusion of the webinar, the students were again asked if anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic – and 100% said yes.


Gammill then encouraged the Jewish students to share personal stories with communities and individuals who haven’t had an opportunity to learn about the experiences of the Jewish people.


The webinar was part of the ongoing Antisemitism Training Speaker Series, which aims to educate high school and college students about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and where legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism crosses the line into anti-Semitism. StandWithUs New England High School Coordinator Stephanie Margolis and Campus Coordinator Eliza Kanner hosted the talk.


The next webinar, “Understanding Diverse Jewish Narratives,” on Jan. 20, will be led by Sarah Levin, head of JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. Register at https://bit.ly/3odgWmo.


Read the article here.

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