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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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JSU event celebrates Jewish American Heritage

JSU event celebrates Jewish American Heritage
Frances Leibovich

On Wednesday, May 22, the Jewish Student Union (JSU) hosted an event at lunch with special guests to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. Four students from Walt Whitman High School, the Jewish Day School, and Jackson-Reed came to talk about Judaism, antisemitism, and what being Jewish means to them. These students belong to The Student-to-Student program, which is part of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC). The JCRC is an organization that aims to educate, advocate, and work with others to promote freedom, justice, and democratic pluralism that benefits not just the Jewish community, but everyone.

Sara Winkleman, Director of Education Programs and Services for the JCRC, discussed the purpose for the Student-to-Student program. “These students present all over the DMV about what it means to be a Jewish student today and what it means to be a Jewish teen. It is an amazing anti-bias and anti-bigotry program that we can bring in for Jewish American Heritage Month but also in a classroom when it is appropriate content.” Winkleman expanded the program further, now going into schools to help students understand what antisemitism is, and other topics related to the Jewish faith. 

Many students came to the program to hear the JCRC speak and celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. One Jackson-Reed Junior, Francesca Krevat, explained she attended the meeting to learn more about her culture and religious background. 

In the event, the students presented a slide show where they described different elements of Judaism. They talked about the history of the Jewish people, different holidays, and other items important to the religion. Some include a mini Torah and a menorah. They also passed around challah bread for the group to try, and Oreos where they had attendees look for the kosher certification before taking one. The presenters also dove into some deeper topics, discussing The Holocaust and acts of antisemitism. 

A senior at Walt Whitman High School joined the The Student-To-Student Program due to an incident that happened at her school, where a vandal wrote “Jews Not Welcome” on the school’s entrance sign. She immediately thought to herself that she should do something that could help combat this, which led her to join The Student-To-Student Program.

The Jewish Student Union’s event on May 22 was an educational and meaningful platform for fostering understanding and empathy within the school community. By sharing their experiences, the students from this program provided important and personal insights into Judaism and called attention to the importance of cultural and religious awareness. The mission of the Student-to-Student Program and its dedicated young representatives emphasizes the importance of the education of Judaism and the fight against antisemitism.

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Frances Leibovich, Director of Art and Design
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