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iACT Campus Outreach on the Frontlines in Europe


Europe is the new front line in the battle against anti-Israel rhetoric and violence. Pro-Arab sentiments go virtually unchallenged, and European Jewish students are bombarded with biased media reports demonizing Israel and de-legitimizing the Jewish State.



The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s iACT Campus Outreach program and ECJS (European Center for Jewish Students) - Europe’s largest, most effective Jewish student organization serving thousands of students from 26 countries - have forged a strategic partnership to deliver iACT’s unique programming to an eager audience of European collegians. This partnership unites ECJS’ Jewish outreach and event-planning expertise with iACT’s unparalleled programming for a greater impact on the next generation of Jewish activists.

 

At an event last month in Brussels, iACT Director Rabbi Ari Hier screened the Center's film, The Long Way Home to hundreds of students while at the same time heard frightening first-hand accounts of what it is like to be young and Jewish in Europe today:

"...growing up Jewish was hard...when you begin to find your identity and begin to understand Israel, you also begin to feel attacked...it is easy to then lose one's identity....many newspapers are pro-Palestinian, too...."
Michal J., Switzerland

'It is very dangerous in France to wear Jewish jewelry or a Kippa..I have a small Magen David that I wear and I tuck it in for most of the time...French people need to learn more about the merits of Israel...they should see the movie that you showed us so they know that we did not steal Israel from the Palestinians..." 
Eli Y., France

"...there is a hidden anti-Semitism..a few months ago a guy got punched...Amsterdam has neighborhoods with lots of Islamic anti-Semitism...the SWC movie (The Long Way Home) needs to be shown to the world at large and it gives us an important feeling about Israel... "
Channa L., Holland

"...in France, there is a huge (10 %) Muslim population, and since they are not successfully integrated into French society they have no identity other than an Islamic one, whereas we Jews are both Jewish and French....we are thus a target for them..........our cemeteries have been vandalized and this changes with the situation in Israel..."
Elene F., France

"People try NOT to be Jewish in Belarus...people try to blend in and look the same....they do not get the idea that you can be different...people make fun of Jews and, in fact, our Jewish school was painted with horrible words that frightened them....when Israel went into Gaza they were clearly seen as the perpetrators...."
Mushka Z., Belarus

 

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Just a few of the hundreds of students registering for the iACT/ECJS weekend in Brussels; Jewish pride and anti-Semitism in Europe were important parts of the weekend's agenda.  
Rabbi Aron Hier of iACT interviewing a European student about anti-Semitism in his country.
European students watch Moriah Films' - The Long Way Home at the iACT/ECJS event in Brussels.
European students watch Moriah Films' - The Long Way Home at the iACT/ECJS event in Brussels.