JSU Teen Leaders Play Key Role at ‘Israel at War’ Summit

Posted on December 5, 2023

In response to a request from teens and parents, Minneapolis JSU/NCSY partnered with JCRC and the Minneapolis Jewish Federation to bring “Israel at War,” a Teen and Parent Summit, to over 200 community members in mid November.

The program aimed to help teens and their parents navigate the complex situation in Israel, while learning how to respond to local antisemitism.

JSU teen leaders and StandWithUs interns Rebecca Badzin (r.) and Gabriela Schraber of Hopkins High School led a session for teens on “Being a Smart Social Media Consumer.”

“2023 is a crazy time to be on social media in general and especially during a time of war,” says Rebecca, a junior at Hopkins. “Preparing for the presentation was a learning experience of its own because I really was able to dial down on how to navigate the current social media field.”

For Gabriela, a senior at Hopkins, the audience interaction was a highlight of the program.

“Witnessing the audience grow in confidence while sharing their experiences and connecting with each other was a touching takeaway,” she says. “I believe this breakout session significantly empowered teens to use the tools that were provided to better maneuver themselves through the difficult times on social media.”

The teens also had the option of participating in two other sessions: “My Jewish Story: Exploring our connections to the Jewish people and Israel,” and “The Big Picture: Understanding the Israel Hamas war, terms and vocabulary.”

JCRC staff also led a session for parents on how to support their teens during these difficult times.