Springboard saff love to hear stories about how teens in the community are connecting with their Jewish identities, educating others about the Jewish community and grappling with the complexities of being Jewish today. A few weeks ago Hailey shared her PSA (Public Service Announcement) school assignment with us on Instagram. She chose to create a PSA about overcoming antisemitism. We asked her if she’d like to share her message with more people and reflect on the experience of creating this project on our blog.
What is your topic? I'm excited to be talking about subject that are very important to me, Judaism and that antisemitism is still a problem today. I see antisemitism as a a certain view that people have on Jews. And people show a certain perception of hate towards Jewish people that is directed to Jewish community institutions and religious organizations.
I chose to draw the Star Of David on top and wrote “this is our star” and on the bottom I drew the star that was used to mark Jews with during the holocaust, to separate them from other people. And I wrote “not this!”
Why did you choose this subject? I feel more drawn to this topic as I get older and am seeing antisemitism happen more now. I feel like I needed to speak out and share about this because I feel like people should be more educated on it and I am the only Jewish student in my school.
I don’t want Jewish people to be only known for being in concentration camps and being hated by Hitler. I want Jewish people to be known for all the traditions and holidays that we celebrate, and all the positive things that we would love to share without getting bashed or hated on for it.
What do you hope other teens learn from your PSA? Antisemitism shouldn’t be happening. It isn’t cool to hate on someone for what they are a part of and what they love. It is frustrating that sometimes famous people make antisemitic comments. I think that everyone should keep the golden rule in mind: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
My hope is that everyone finds a place that you are safe and comfortable in with your religious beliefs. I feel safe at my synagogue,
Congregation Etz Chaim, and at my Jewish summer camp,
OSRUI. They make me feel safe because I can be open about my religion and beliefs with other people that agree with me and make me feel comfortable and loved. Everyone should be able to feel that way.
About the Author: Hailey is an 8th grader. She participates in builders club, teen advisory board, and JYG. This year, Hailey plans to raise awareness about
ALS by speaking about it and fundraising. Hailey’s favorite place is OSRUI, her summer camp, and reading books and being with the people she loves makes her happy.