Elie Codron has served as president of both Chabad and Huskies for Israel at Northeastern University. Now entering his third year, Codron is also one of New England’s most visible Israel activists on campus.
“The more you partner with others, the more you get out of it,” said Codron, who works to strengthen ties between Jewish groups on campus. He is also a member of the Intercampus Leadership Committee, a project of CJP’s Israel Campus Roundtable (ICR).
“The ICR is the champion of collaboration,” said Codron, who spent a year at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem before coming to Northeastern, where he majors in international affairs. An active member of Hillel, Codron also represents the Jewish community in student government.
At the start of the pandemic, the ICR asked Codron to create a training series for students in leadership development. Forty students participated in eight sessions focused on innovative community-building initiatives.
“The best way to cultivate new leaders is for them to hear the narratives of successful projects from the students who started them,” said Codron. “We need to impart the skills but we also need to inspire action.”
For the series, Codron, a native of Belgium, gave a talk called “Proud to be Jewish on Campus.” The unity of Jewish people everywhere is important to Codron, whose paternal great-grandfather was the chief rabbi of Congo.
This fall, Codron is partnering with the ICR on his “Rimon” initiative, a cohort-based Israel education program for high school and college students. Top lecturers and diplomats will teach the students in a semester-long module, with the help of CJP funding and networks.
“A lot of my friends tell me to slow down and take more vacations,” said Codron. “But this is the Jewish life I have always dreamed of, and I don’t want to slow down.”
In addition to participating in CJP intercampus events, including Campus Cares Service Days, Codron has received stipends to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference and Hasbara Fellowships. In the weeks ahead, he will implement a second leadership training series for 40 new students, “empowering and inspiring them while they are stuck at home,” he said.
“Most organizations are not really listening to students,” said Codron. “But working with CJP and the ICR, the situation is totally different. Not only is my opinion valued, but they have asked me to lead entire projects,” said the 21-year-old speaker of French, English, Dutch and Hebrew.