Later this month students will begin heading back to campus. Many will be returning to environments that are quite hostile to Israel. Yet on campus after campus we know students who are ready and even excited to put the joys of summer behind and begin making the case for Israel. Through our Maccabee of the Month update, we want to recognize and encourage these impressive young people.
This month, our Maccabee of the Month is Lillian!
Lillian is a student at Kent State University. Through her leadership of multiple pro-Israel organizations Lillian has played a critical role in creating an enthusiastic pro-Israel movement on campus. In addition to taking the lead in implementing important pro-Israel programs, Lillian has had a particular passion for growing the pro-Israel base by recruiting her fellow students to the cause. Through persistent outreach, one-on-one conversations and follow up, Lillian is personally responsible for recruiting many of the pro-Israel leaders now rising in the ranks at Kent state.
Here are some of the highlights from Lillian’s interview.
First off- Shwarma or falafel?
Falafel all the way
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my political involvement and Zionist identity. I think it’s very important for people to be educated and have an opinion on what is going on in the world.
Who do you most admire, and why?
I admire my parents. My Dad, Paul is an Army veteran and a retired Police Officer. My Mother, Janelle is a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Their hard work and dedication inspires me to be the best version of myself. I am so thankful for their endless encouragement and support.
What’s your secret talent?
I’ve been playing the violin since I was 6 years old and I used to be a viola performance major!
What is your favorite place to visit in Israel and why?
My favorite place to visit in Israel is Jerusalem. Whenever I walk the streets of Israel’s capital I feel spiritual and at home. The old city reminds me why I am proud to be a Jew.
Why do you care about helping Israel?
I care about helping Israel because as a Jew I feel obligated to defend our indigenous homeland and strengthen the Jewish community. The land of Israel is our history and our future.
What is the attitude about BDS on your campus?
BDS is strongly supported by the left on my campus. Many of the students don’t have an opinion on Israel or know what BDS is. This is why it is important to educate the majority about Israel and fight against bigotry.
Name one thing you’re personally doing to help Israel on your campus
The most important thing I do on campus to help Israel is to speak the truth. No matter how uncomfortable the situation is, I find it crucial to stand up and fight against hatred.
What was your biggest takeaway from your trip to Israel
The Maccabee Task Force trip to Israel is a game changer. There is no more effective way to get campus leaders to see past the dominant anti-Israel narrative and actually learn the truth about Israel. Some of our trip participants have become active friends of our community. And none of them still support BDS and delegitimization.
How has the Maccabee Task Force helped you/your campus to support Israel?
The Maccabee Task force provided us with a comprehensive strategy to promote Israel on campus and the funds with which to implement it. Their support has dramatically increased both the quantity and the quality of our pro-Israel efforts. It’s been an excellent partnership.
What are you looking forward to most next semester?
Next semester, I am looking forward to advocating for Israel by educating my peers on the import role that the US and Israel play for each other as allies. They are both powerful nations and they are each others closest allies.