No one can deny that anti-semitism remains globally present- from the Holocaust jokes and ignorant stereotyping that Jewish teens experience daily, to the tragic hate crimes that impact the lives of too many people. As a part of BBYO, an organization reaching over 80,000 teens in 50 different countries, we are lucky have a community and platform to support us in standing against hate. There are many ways in which you can teach members of your chapter and region how to stand up against hate by educating, celebrating, and defending.
An article from the Washington Post states that “two-thirds of American millennials surveyed in a recent poll cannot identify what Auschwitz is, according to a study released on Holocaust Remembrance Day." This isn’t ancient history- the Holocaust occurred less than 80 years ago.We must have conversations and aknowledge the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. It is vital to be educated and to educate in order to fight against anti-semitism. We must advocate the world that the Jewish people can rise up against anything. One way that you can encourage education among your community is by holding a program within your chapter or region to educate members about the Holocaust and the impact it has on you as Jewish teens, thus inspiring members to educate others in their communities.
Celebrating our Jewish culture is a way to take a stand against antisemitism. Displaying that the Jewish community has an abundance of pride and passion shows anti-semitic people that at the end of the day, love is truly stronger than hate. In BBYO, we have celebrations all the time, such as for AZA and BBG Founder’s day, or Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel’s independence day. You can implement a celebration of Judaism into your own chapter or region and promote the incredible feeling of togetherness that shatters anti-semitism by showing that we, as the Jewish community, stick together to rise above hate.
Rallies, petitions, and marches are ways that the public is able to peacefully protest. Being able to defend our religion via the aforementioned methods is something to not take for granted. During the Holocaust, even non-Jewish people were killed for defending Jewish men, women, and children. We must use our freedom and not take it for granted. Whether it be by defending the state of Israel or Judaism as a whole, we must speak up to make a real change in society. If you want to help defend the Jewish community, maybe hold a program in your chapter or region where you explore the importance of standing up for yourself and what you believe in, especially when it comes to anti-semitism.
As a part of BBYO it is essential that the 80,000 teens worldwide come together in our individual Jewish communities to help put an end to anti-semitism. You can do this by educating people about the Holocaust, celebrating Judaism and the accomplishments within our religion, and defending the state of Israel.
Sarah Goldman is a BBG from Michigan Region.
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