Monday, September 27, 2021

(Courtesy of Stand With Us) The StandWithUs Kenneth Leventhal High School Interns are: Darren Milman, a junior at Colts Neck HS; and seniors Leah Spector, Cherry Hill HS West; Aiden Silverstein, Princeton Day School; Abby Hoberman, Bergen County Technical HS; Zohar Peleg, Cresskill HS; and Sarah Rabitz, Yeshivat Frisch who was a member of SWU’s Teen Leadership Council prior to joining the internship.

Sophomores Lucrecia Kleinmann, Ramapo College and Edward Walker, Rutgers University are the Emerson Fellows.

150 students were selected in each program from 150 schools throughout North America.

Created in 2012, the StandWithUs Kenneth Leventhal High School internship program selects and trains student leaders from high schools throughout North America to educate about Israel at their schools and to combat antisemitism.

During the two-semester program, the Kenneth 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 or disinformation, ignorance or outright hatred. Then, working with their StandWithUs regional high school coordinator, they develop a vision to meet those needs through relevant and practical educational programming.

Founded in 2007, the year-long fellowship recruits, trains, educates and inspires pro-Israel student leaders on campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil. They form a network of pro-Israel student leaders who inspire their peers and collaborate with other student communities to run effective educational events about Israel and combat anti-Israel campaigns and rhetoric.

Students in both programs attended their respective virtual 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 respond to the toughest questions. Students gained leadership skills and had regional breakouts with their coordinators.

They will also participate in StandWithUs “International Conference: Israel in Focus” in January.

Jolie Davies continues as the StandWithUs tri-state high school coordinator and Marist College graduate Amit Ankawa, joined as tri-state campus coordinator.

“We are excited to have the ability to reach more and more students in New Jersey high schools and campuses through our amazing interns and fellows,” stated Avi Posnick, Regional Director StandWithUs Northeast & New England. “Historically, Jewish students joined the programs because of their desire to learn more about Israel, but the additional motivation for the 2021-2022 class is the rise of antisemitism in local communities and across North America.

“Unfortunately, New Jersey has experienced too many incidents, especially this year, including at Rutgers. We look forward to seeing the impact our students will have during the school year as they educate their peers and community about Israel and confront antisemitism.”

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