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  • Allied Voices for Israel (AVI)

A student ally's response to the encampments

PLUS: AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellows Jonah Beckeinstein and Maxine Khalfon published in The Toronto Sun this weekend

Click on the image above to read AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow Zara Nybo's statement against the encampments on campus

We are proud of our AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow Zara Nybo, a student at the University of British Columbia (UBC), for formulating a strong statement against the encampments at UBC and campuses across the country.

“We are witnessing in real time students across Canada becoming brainwashed by Hamas terrorist propaganda, antisemitic ideas, and demonizing Israel. The conduct of the protestors at UBC is disrespectful towards President Bacon, UBC security, and the RCMP,” Zara writes.

“These encampments are a product of antisemitism and the dehumanization of Jewish lives. I hold university encampment students accountable for the role they play in this.”

To read Zara's full statement, please click here. To read her article in the National Post on the Selina Robinson ouster, published in March, click here.

AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow Jonah Beckenstein published in this week's Toronto Sun

Our Campus Media Fellowship in partnership with HonestReporting Canada bore tremendous fruit this weekend, with two Fellows being published in the Toronto Sun. 

First, Jonah Beckenstein's riveting piece, “Jewish students need you to speak up,” was published on June 1st, shining a light on the inherent anti-Jewish hatred that is pervasive in the anti-Israel movement.

“Aren’t universities supposed to be beacons of academic freedom? Shouldn’t diverse viewpoints be respected? Here we are in 2024, living in a new reality where Canadian educational institutions that pride themselves on fostering inclusive environments allow the spread of disinformation and targeted fear-mongering on campus,” writes Jonah, who studies at the University of Ottawa.

“Hidden within the agenda of the extremist anti-Israel encampment movement lie anti-Canadian values. Allowing the presence of hate speech on campuses is a threat to everyone, not just Jews. When hate speech is coupled with harassment, intimidation, violence and support for Islamic terrorism, society needs to take a stand.” 

To read Jonah's phenomenal op-ed, click here.

AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow Maxine Khalfon published in this week's Toronto Sun

On June 2nd, AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow Maxine Khalfon was also published in The Sun. Her piece, “Navigating falsehood and discrimination as a Jewish student at Toronto Metropolitan University,” details her experiences feeling unwelcome on campus. 

“As I reflect on my journey at Toronto Metropolitan University, I am struck by the contrast between the anticipation and excitement I felt accepting my offer to this school and the reality I had coming for me being a Jewish student on campus,” she writes.

“The recent encampments on school grounds serve as a reminder of the overwhelming anti-Semitism that the Jewish community feels every day attending this school. The reluctance of the university to address and condemn hate directed at students only amplifies the feeling of isolation and fear.”

To read Maxine's piece in in its entirety, please click here.

Click on the above graphic to register

Students of all ages are officially invited to an incredible and engaging afternoon lunch discussion with three extraordinary panelists from Israel-Is! Join us on June 5th at 12pm ET in Toronto for an inspiring event featuring: 

Adiel Cohen: Israeli activist, educator, IDF reserves commander, and digital influencer with 150,000 followers, studying Political Science and Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Aviv Kurnas: People-to-People Communications Specialist, Director of International Partner Relations at Israel-Is, and Israeli Air Force reserve soldier.

Shay Sharir: President of the Israel-Is alumni board, former community manager, Air Force desk of Brigade 36, and Entrepreneurship student at Reichman University. 

Don't miss this chance to hear their powerful stories and engage in meaningful discussions.

Click on the above graphic to register

Also on June 5th at Toronto's Beth Tikvah Synagogue, join us for a conversation between AVI Executive Director Daniel Koren and Harvard student Charlie Covit. The event begins at 8pm ET.

Both speakers will share their on-the-ground experiences and help community members understand the rise of anti-Jewish hatred and unrest across North American university campuses in the wake of the Oct. 7th attacks.

Click here to register for what will be an important conversation.

Our Senior Campus Advisor Idaliah Snajdman and AVI Student Ambassadors Justin Chow (second from right) and Pe'er Krut (fourth from right) attend an impactful meeting with Minister and Special Avisor for Canada Ronen Gilor 

Our Senior Campus Advisor Idaliah Snajdman and AVI Student Ambassadors Pe'er Krut and Justin Chow were proud to attend a meeting with Israeli Minister and Special Advisor for Canada Ronen Gilor at the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto and Western Canada last week, with students from universities across Ontario.

Students got to talk about their experiences on campuses this year, how the consulate can help, and what we can collectively do to create a safer space for Jewish students and their allies on campus.

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