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  • Allied Voices for Israel (AVI)

AVI student and ally Justin Chow dazzles at UofT rally

PLUS: AVI alumni condemn antisemitism to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Israel's 76th birthday bash, and more!

AVI Student Ambassador Justin Chow (wearing an AVI T-shirt) is interviewed by CityNews prior to Wednesday's Rally Against Hate at U of T

University of Toronto student, AVI Krav Maga alumni, and AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow Justin Chow made us proud this week as he made the news rounds and gave a powerful speech at Wednesday's Rally Against Hate, organized by AVI and fellow campus organizations and in conjunction with Jewish U of T students and their allies, staff, and faculty members. Over 500 Torontonians showed up to rally against the hateful encampments on campus.

The peaceful rally was organized in response to the university administration’s failure to protect Jewish and allied students on campus, allowing protesters to continue their illegal encampments and proliferation of dangerous antisemitic rhetoric. We were so proud to see students such as Justin show up and fight to uphold Canadian values of dialogue, respect, and coexistence.

The rally was the second co-hosted by AVI under one week. To watch footage from our rally in support of students last Sunday, click here.

Left to right: AVI Campus Media Fellow Alumna Natti Pressman, President of the StartUp Nation at McGill Anastasia Zorchinsky, StandWithUs Canada Emerson Fellow Sydney Greenspoon; and AVI Alumna Claire Frankel

We were so proud to see two of our AVI alumni take the stage at the National Press Theatre at the House of Commons this week, ahead of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights’ hearings on antisemitism in Canada.

AVI Campus Media Alumna Natti Pressman and former AVI Intern and Alumna Claire Frankel were both invited by MP Anthony Housefather to raise awareness about the troubling rise of anti-Jewish hatred on university campuses following the October 7th attacks.

Click the above poster to purchase tickets for our club night, in celebration of Israel's 76th birthday! (UPDATE: SOLD OUT)

We at Allied Voices for Israel (AVI) are excited to partner with our friends at fellow campus organizations CJPAC, Hillel Ontario, Masa, StandWithUsCanada, alongside the team at Gishmak Herring, to present Israel's 76th Club Night

Please join us for an evening that celebrates our Jewish pride and connection to our indigenous homeland.

If you’re looking for a night full of delicious food, great vibes, and fantastic music, then this is it. An enduring reminder that no matter how many challenges Israel faces, #weWILLdanceagain.

AVI staff Noa Peterz Benchaya with high school students in Montreal

AVI High School & Campus Advisor Noa Peretz Benchaya had the opportunity to speak with 30+ high school students with the Dalfen Fellowship in Montreal this week. Noa taught our AVI workshop on “Amplifying Israel’s Voice Online,” in partnership with Federation CJA⁠.

Noa also led a critical workshop on allyship and coalition-building to our cohort of AVI High School Ambassadors!

AVI Director of Operations & Development Lea Bloom hosted a unity challah bake last Thursday

Last week, AVI Director of Operations & Development Lea J. Bloom brought together some powerful female community leaders for a unity “shlissel” (key) challah bake the Thursday after Passover!

The challah bake was led by the amazing Amy Stopnicki, cookbook author and chef extraordinaire. Attendees learned about AVI's programs and initiatives for students and community members alike.

The custom of baking key-shaped challahs for the Shabbat after Passover symbolizes a wish for good fortune. But this year, there was an added layer of meaning – a heartfelt wish for the release of the hostages. It was a reminder that the “key” to unlock peace and a brighter future is in all of our hands.

Budding opera singer and online sensation Adriana is our ally spotlight!

Our #AllySpotlight this week is @NonJewishNanny a.k.a. Adriana Rosie. Adriana is known for her adventures in babysitting children from Jewish families in Florida are source material for viral posts on Instagram and TikTok.

In a fraught era of virulently antisemitic social media, Adriana is a welcome relief. She’s respectful, curious, and joyful. Her posts highlight learning about Jewish life and have turned her into an unlikely online influencer with over 70,000 followers. 

“People send me messages like, 'Hey, I’ve actually strayed away from my faith, but coming to your page makes me remember and love all the good things I forgot about,'” says Adriana. “That’s why I do it; people send me messages like, 'Thank you so much. This means so much after all the antisemitism in the world.'”

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