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Scheck Hillel Seniors Learn From Israel Activist Tessa Veksler

Scheck Hillel Community School recently welcomed Tessa Veksler, a passionate Israel activist and UC Santa Barbara Student Body President, to share her journey and insights with Grade 12 students. Veksler's message resonated deeply with the students, emphasizing the importance of Jewish leadership in diverse environments.

Drawing from her personal experiences, she underscored the value of using Jewish core values to drive meaningful advocacy efforts, particularly in advocating on behalf of Israel.

Veksler's own journey toward embracing her Jewish identity was catalyzed by a transformative trip to Israel. Immersed in Orthodox practices and inspired by the significance of the Jewish state, she returned with a renewed commitment to her faith and a firm dedication to advocating for Israel, especially in the face of growing anti-Israel sentiment.

“Disruption is a very costly thing. Our history as a Jewish people has shown us that if you show up for us, there’s going to be a price.” She candidly shared her experiences of harassment and calls for removal as student body president, but ultimately reminded students of the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity.

Encouraging the graduating seniors to embrace advocacy and leadership roles, Veksler urged them to stand up for their beliefs, even in potentially hostile environments. “It’s really important to be leaders in non-Jewish spaces. You have to be that person that non-Jewish people can humanize, someone who is Jewish and who is a Zionist for them to look up to.” 

We would like to thank the Benhamron family for sponsoring the Tessa Vexler talk. The event provided an invaluable opportunity for Scheck Hillel's Grade 12 students as they prepare to transition to college or embark on gap year programs. By learning from passionate advocates like Veksler, the school ensures its students are equipped to be resilient Jewish leaders in an ever-changing world.