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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Jewish Students From Throughout the World Gather in Jerusalem
WUJS Chair Chaya Singer told Israel National News TV that Jewish students around the world are united by their commitment to the future of the Jewish people.
“Jewish students on campuses are at the forefront of the battle against anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel on campus and assimilation,” she said. “Jewish students are here today because a Jewish student can’t walk onto a campus nowadays and just get involved in his studies without being confronted by the virulent delegitimization of Israel that goes on in campuses today. It’s our responsibility to take action and to make sure that campuses are a safe place for Jewish students and that the future leaders of the world who are on university campuses today leave university with a positive impression of the Jewish people and a positive impression of the land of Israel and the contribution that we make to society.”
Singer stressed that WUJS is a pluralistic organization which embraces Jewish students from all sides of all religious and political spectrums. “The aim of the World Union of Jewish Students is to bring everybody under one umbrella and to be able to bring in all these diverse views and to be able to embrace and engage everybody. That is a legacy and heritage that we own and this is something that we embrace, and no matter what aspect we come from, this is something that unites us and brings us together.”
She added that Israelis are very much a part of the organization and noted that three of the candidates who are running for the position of WUJS chairperson are Israeli.
“I think what’s most important is to bridge that connection between Israeli and Diaspora students,” said Singer. “It’s about a cultural understanding. I think a lot of the issues that Jewish students are facing pertain to the delegitimization of Israel and Israel as a society and the Israeli students are there to help with that. For Jewish students in the Diaspora and for Israeli students here it’s about understanding and engaging with what it means to be Jewish.”
The WUJS Congress continues until Thursday. Some of the speakers who will take part include Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein, and many others.