The March of the Living Raises Student Awareness
Posted on 03/29/2019 @ 01:00 PM
Written by Danielle Yablonka, High School senior at Design and Architecture Senior High, CAJE Teen Market Intern, StandWithUs Intern, public speaker and Zionist activist.
I recognize that being able to express my Judaism freely is a privilege. I grew up with a constant reminder of my family history and Jewish roots. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors and my Jewish values mean everything to me. But it seems to me that every day I check the news there is a new report of hate and ignorance which puts my ability to freely express my Judaism into question. Statistics show that antisemitism is at an all-time high, but why isn’t there more being done about it? Unfortunately, I have had my experiences with antisemitism, but luckily, through education, I have the tools to do something about it. That is why I am on a mission to help educate others.
Going to a progressive art school, I assume everyone surrounding me is accepting and open-minded. Yet, when I create my art about Holocaust remembrance and antisemitism, many of the responses have been negative. That is when I recognized a need to educate my peers and school community. In addition to educating through my art, I decided to take this one-step further by inviting a Holocaust survivor to speak to students during an optional lunchtime program at my school.
Interning for StandWithUs and CAJE has given me so many opportunities throughout the year and on this occasion, we teamed up for the opportunity to bring Julius Eisenstein, a 99 year old Holocaust survivor to my high school to help educate students about his life. Over 250 students and faculty attended! As the Holocaust survivor population is dwindling, there is no better time than now to tune in and learn. This event not only filled me with pride, but also with so much hope.
I have hope that education can impact our future, and I am just getting started.
Danielle will be participating in CAJE’s Leo Martin March of the Living program, which leaves in one month. We encourage you to follow our March of the Living Journey on Facebook.