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The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

Nathan celebrates after breaking the school record for the 3,200 meter race. Used with permission from Nathan Szubin.
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Arditi Zarouk (second from left) celebrates the 50-year anniversary of Perach with her team at the residence of Israeli President Herzog. Used with permission from Arditi Zarouk.
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At the college fair on April 7, Pitzer College representatives boasted about their Students Justice for Palestine (SJP) club to a Jewish student.
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StandWithUs youth delegation visits from Israel

Before+meeting+with+JDS+high+school+students%2C+Tevel+tours+the+Upper+School+with+Kaufman.+
Suzie Thompson, used with permission
Before meeting with JDS high school students, Tevel tours the Upper School with Kaufman.

Delegates from the StandWithUs Tevel Youth Program in Israel visited CESJDS on Feb. 28 as part of an advocacy trip to the U.S., where they spoke with various high school on the program. The cohort, which consists of Israeli students in grades 10 to 12, discussed their work in public diplomacy and leadership as a part of their three-year program. 

Tevel brings together Israeli students from all over Israel to learn advocacy techniques so that they can serve as young diplomats to other Jews in the diaspora, and educate international audiences about Israeli society, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s international image and more. They meet as an after-school program, weekly for first-year delegates and monthly for second and third-year delegates. Meetings involve discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and working on individual projects about Israeli society. 

Tevel’s mission is to educate Israeli students on how to have productive conversations about Israel and teach delegates the importance of using social media to spread positive messages about Israel. 

This year, Tevel sent second and third-year delegates to the United States on an advocacy trip, a recurring trip for higher-level delegates. Participants are tasked with learning skills deemed necessary for advocacy such as debating, public speaking, social media skills, and conducting interviews. As part of the program, they must think critically about improving Israeli society. 

“Tevel is one big family, we all love each other,” third-year delegate Ido Tamar said, “We all look to each other, and in Tevel, we all know how important the connection with Jews all over the world [is].”

CESJDS reached out to Tevel through high school Hebrew teacher Anat Kaufman, who is also the Israel engagement coordinator as part of Israel education at JDS. Kaufman is involved in StandWithUs, so the organization reached out to her and asked if Kaufman would like to host the Tevel students. The group had come last year to visit Dr. Rosenthal’s classes but Kaufman thought it was important to open it up to Hebrew classes as well.

“We hosted them [Tevel] this year in Hebrew classes, as they shared their experience from the war from October 7, from what they’re doing after to what they are doing with social media [now]. Things that we have questions about… So I wish we had more time with them.”

The delegation split into three classes: high school Hebrew classes 106, in the ninth grade, and 206, in the tenth grade, as well as the Contemporary Issues in Israeli Society class. The delegates had a Q&A discussion where they talked about the Tevel program and their experiences as part of the program. 

Whereas Tevel’s second and third-year delegates embark on an international advocacy trip, the first-year delegates meet once a week to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where they debate different difficult subjects. The second-year and third-year students prepare for the advocacy trip by learning about Jewish Americans, different perspectives about Israel, and anti-semitism around the world. They came not only to talk about Israel, but to hear from  American Jews in the diaspora about their perspectives on Israel and their Jewish beliefs. 

“We experience something new, something special with our group,” second-year delegate Batya Ox said. “We know each other better and [learn about] how to give something from us to the Israeli population, and to the world as a Jew and Israeli.”

Some of the highlights of the Tevel advocacy trip include visiting the United Nations and speaking with the Israeli representative to the United Nations, visiting the 9/11 memorial and meeting with Jewish schools throughout the New York, California and D.C. area. 

“I think it’s cool that they made time to come here too, even though we’re [JDS] not as cool as the UN,” sophomore Jennifer Kelner said. “I also thought that it was really interesting to see people who are our age or really close to our age who are part of such an active organization.”

Delegates Ox and Tamar were engaged with the students of the Hebrew Class 306 on their experiences in Israel during the Israel-Hamas war, and their individual initiatives as part of the program. Their main message to students was to raise awareness on the important Israeli issues in the world today, and to consume information, especially on social media, appropriately. 

In classes, students discussed how to filter fake news on their social media feeds, and how to use social media to support Israel from afar. To close Tevel’s visit, students shared their feelings about the war and gave the delegates messages that they wanted them to bring back to their Israeli families. 

“I was very proud of the school. I was very proud of their impression from our school… how supportive we are of Israel,” Kaufman said. “I hope that they will come next year again.”

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About the Contributor
Eliana Wolf
Eliana Wolf, Sports Editor
Eliana is pumped to be this year’s Sports Editor for Lions Tale. She has always had an affinity for sports, as she is on the Varsity Tennis, Winter Track, and Softball teams. She loves editing articles and is so excited to enhance the sports sections with engaging content. Eliana is also an active member of the Bohr-Franklin Science Journal and the STEM fellowship. In addition to Lion's Tale, you can find Eliana playing the piano, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and hiking in Rock Creek Park. She can’t wait to work with her co-editors to edit articles and design spreads for the section.  

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