StandWithUs New England has been resilient throughout the last year continuing to program and support teens here in the Greater Boston area through educational Israel programming and combating antisemitism.
In addition to working directly with teens and organizing programs for youth groups, synagogues and schools, StandWithUs New England high school coordinator Stephanie Margolis has been kept very busy since she started just one year ago.
Originally from Acton and now living in South Boston, Stephanie has been a part of the StandWithUs family for over five years, beginning with her senior year at Acton Boxborough Regional High School as a StandWithUs Leventhal High School Intern. She was able to bring Israel education directly to her peers both at school, at her synagogue, Congregation Beth Elohim, and to New England Region BBYO. After four years at UMass Amherst, where Stephanie was a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and recipient of the Roberta Seid Award for Courage and Leadership, she is so excited to be giving back to the communities that raised her through her role.
Throughout Massachusetts, Stephanie works with nine dedicated and driven StandWithUs Leventhal High School Interns. These teens applied for the year-long internship prior to the pandemic and have shown perseverance despite all the challenges they face during this time. When school was moved online and programming could no longer be held in person, each intern found creative and innovative ways to continue educating their peers about Israel and antisemitism.
Intern Emily Rubenstein from Sharon explains: “StandWithUs has given me the resources and taught me the necessary skills to plan a successful event for my community. Whether it’s learning how to network with other interns around the country or researching with my coordinator so I can effectively lead a relevant conversation about Israel at my school, StandWithUs has changed the way I look at leadership. I’m beyond grateful for my experience and I know this opportunity will help me in facilitating similar conversations on campus one day!” Emily recently hosted Holocaust survivor Janet Applefield at a school-wide assembly for International Holocaust Remembrance Day and also showed a StandWithUs video that educated about the rising antisemitism we see today.
Intern Anna Schulman from Medfield hosted two sessions about combating antisemitism through comedy at New England Region BBYO’s Winter Convention. Anna told Stephanie: “I loved hosting this event for members of New England because the two sessions felt like completely different programs. The discussions took two very different paths, and from this I learned just as much during the program from different perspectives as I learned while doing my research for the event. Leading this program left me feeling rewarded because I know participants will continue to learn more about antisemitism from the resources provided and combat antisemitism when they see it.”
Stephanie also works with teen participants in the StandWithUs Teen Leadership Council (TLC). This one-semester program provides teens with the opportunity to further their Israel knowledge, plan innovative Israel programs and play a vital role in ensuring that teens in their communities are connected to Israel and empowered to fight back against antisemitism. For spring semester 2021, StandWithUs has selected nine teens from the Greater Boston area, as well as teens from Rhode Island and Maine, to participate.
It is time to ensure that teens are being given a holistic education about Israel and are being given the skills and tools to have thoughtful, critical, nuanced discussions surrounding both Israel and antisemitism. StandWithUs is here as a resource and guide and will work with any community to meet the needs of their teen population.
You are invited to reach out to the StandWithUs to find out how you can get involved and begin inspiring your community with great programming!
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