May: Jewish American Heritage Month
In recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month, ABNY is highlighting YPs that are combating antisemitism and bias. Congratulations to IIya and Noam! Thank you for all of your important work to bring awareness and drive change.
It was a circuitous journey. 15 years ago, I would never think that I would be a non-profit Jewish professional and Professor of English at CUNY. Gd works in mysterious ways and I’m certain that I am destined to be here and serve our students and faculty, while building an open, welcoming, positive, and growth-oriented environment for our students and faculty. My military service further strengthens by values of volunteerism, commitment to the community, understanding of the ‘other,’ and the desire to seek out solutions for our challenges.
I’m proud of inspiring students to think outside the box, to connect different ideas, and to explore the world around them, while discovering that they have the capacity and potential to make a huge impact on their community.
Stay patient! Find balance in our mission of service and understand that some of this change is extremely incremental, and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, will be toppled with enough commitment and resilience.
I realized that I am New Yorker, when I stopped looking up at the buildings, and rushed past the tourists begrudgingly.
Growing up in Toronto, Canada, my parents sacrificed greatly to provide me with a strong, Jewish education, which instilled within me the values of honesty, hard work, and a commitment to improving my community and country. From a very young age, I learned that political engagement was the key to fighting for fairness and ensuring that all communities have access to the same rights and privileges. My family’s Shabbat table was often brimming with political and historical debate, and a passion for Jewish history and identity. Regrettably, I have also witnessed a significant rise in antisemitism over the past decade, one which compels me to work to build bridges and foster understanding and trust between the diverse communities that share New York City. I’m grateful to the mentors who take me under their wings and continuously provide guidance and wisdom.
I remain fortunate that my job empowers me to share some of the most important parts of my community with many influential leaders in NYC. Through my work at JCRC-NY, I have accompanied scores of public officials, faith leaders, and academics to Israel, sharing my passion for my people, our history, and the complex challenges we face in the Middle East and back home in New York. I’m proud to work for an agency that has such a major impact on the current and future leadership of New York, and helps our community leaders serve their constituents as well as possible. The one project that stands out is having organized the January 2020 No Hate No Fear march against antisemitism over the Brooklyn Bridge, which brought over 25,000 marchers out in the cold to showcase their support for the Jewish community in the face of rising antisemitism.
With passion and vision, one can begin to make real, long-term change. Stay focused, be honest, be flexible where you can, and never sacrifice your integrity. Most importantly, always approach life with a sense of humor.
- As soon as I could no longer recite the starting lineup for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- When I started completely disregarding “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” streetlights.