Have you ever made a difference? What about taking action? Well, at the beginning of November a group of over 200 young professionals and college students celebrated those who did.

Through a joint collaboration, spearheaded by the Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College and in conjunction with the Hillels of Queens, Hunter, Baruch, Long Island University, the College of Staten Island, COJECO, RAJE, and generously supported by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs AND Beit Hatfustot (the museum of the Jewish people) presented a photo exhibit highlighting the emotional stories of the “Jews of Struggle” – The Jewish National Movement of the USSR, 1967-1989.”

Participants had the chance to meet with two former members of the movement: Alla Praismana, a former “Refusnik” from the FSU and Simon Klarfeld, a former European student activist and current Jewish educator working in the American Jewish community. Attendees were also given a guided tour of the exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage facilitated by the Jewish agency for Israel, treated to a special musical performance and an elegant reception. Three speakers at the event underscored the importance of standing up for the rights of others, finding a passionate cause to support, and fighting for justice. The attendees, primarily of Russian descent, were surprised to learn new facts about their heritage. Students were empowered by the motivational message of the exhibit and moved by the stories each photo told. Participants were reminded that each photo captures a personal story. Each photo carries the legacy of a generation and each picture screams out “take action, find something you are passionate about and make it your own because no one can affect change like you can.”
It is important to highlight the Jewish Agency for Israel’s role in coordinating this event and especially RSJ unit, that worked with all parties involved to plan and implement the event and helped secure necessary funding.Special thanks to the partner agencies that collaborated to make this event a success and of course to all the participants.”

Contributed by Marcos Askenazi

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