Year 11 Jewish Studies Speaker Series
Year 11 Jewish Studies Speaker Series – AUJS and Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD)
The final term of Jewish Studies for our Year 11 students was a response to student feedback to know more about being Jewish in Australia after school. The Speaker Series for this term focused on the importance and challenge of staying connected to the Jewish community once they leave school.
Our panel discussion of Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) executive members included Isabella Polgar, Cameron Graf and Emanuel School Alumni, Avia Madar and Joshua Moses. Facilitated by Ariel Mekler-Peled, the university students spoke passionately and animatedly of their personal Jewish journeys, challenges and motivations for being actively involved in the Jewish community.
An anecdote that I liked was Josh’s story about his Lebanese friends and how he reacted in the situation when they said to him that they like him, but they don’t like Zionists. I really enjoyed listening to the guest speakers and hearing about both their stories and advice. Amy Altman
In a follow-up workshop with the AUJS executive members, the students enthusiastically debated questions such as:
- What community organisations (Jewish or not) do you feel connected to?
- What are your perceptions of the Jewish community?
- Why do you think it is important to stay connected? How do you think you can stay connected?
- Have you ever experienced anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism? How did it make you feel? Who did you turn to?
I found our meetings with the AUJS members very impactful and inspiring, I never really knew how I could continue to be connected to Judaism whilst at university surrounded by a non-Jewish environment. These meetings gave me a better perspective of what type of Jewish organisations exist outside of Jewish schools and youth movements. Indigo Penn
The AUJS workshop was very insightful and influenced our decision to keep learning more about Judaism after school. Nadia Coburn and Sara Aaron
The AUJS panel and workshop were interesting and gave us an insight into what being a Jew is like in the real world. We learnt that there is more to being Jewish after school than we originally thought. Eli Picker and Adin Ephraim
Suzanna Green, Education Manager from the Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD), finished off the series with an informative session about what JBOD offers to support individuals, families and groups to deal with the issues facing the Jewish community today. Several students were particularly keen to hear of the internship opportunities that JBOD offers that could provide excellent work experience and enable them to stay connected to the Jewish community in the future.