Jewish students celebrate diversity: I am an Israeli
Today the Australasian Union of Jewish Students launched a campaign to celebrate diversity in Israeli society.
The campaign, entitled “I am an Israeli”, highlights the stories of ten Israelis—ranging from a Muslim former army officer, to an observant Jewish artist and storyteller.
Each individual describes themselves through key identifying attributes and finishes by stating that they are Israeli.
The campaign integrates campus and online elements. At universities across the country there will be hundreds of posters, Israeli speakers, as well as various stalls and events celebrating Israel. There is also a detailed website http://iamanisraeli.me/ that includes profiles and facts about Israeli society, and an extensive social media campaign targeting hundreds of thousands of young Australians.
“This project shows that Israelis are Jewish and Christian, black and white, gay and straight, while simultaneously being proud Israelis with equal rights,”
Matthew Lesh, political affairs director of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students said,
“Israel like any modern immigrant society, including Australia, are people of wide interests, passions, backgrounds, and ethnicities”.
Raya Azmi, 29, is one individual in the campaign. She is a radio anchor, a wife and expecting mother, a Druze, an Arab, an Israeli. Raya is a politics student at Haifa University, editor at Arabic Kol Israeli (Voice of Israel) radio, and has been married for 8 years to the first Druze to complete an IRONMAN race.
Raya Azmi said that she is living proof of co-existence as a Druze-Israeli-Arab.
“People all over the world need to see how beautiful it is to be able to practice your own religion, language and traditions in Israel” Raya Azmi said. “A democracy that provides me the right to ask for my rights, and to live free, safe, and happy!”
Tomer Naor, 29, also features in the campaign. He is a backpacker, a lawyer, a social activist, an Israeli. Tomer is a man of contrasts, between his political views that vary left and right, his religion that varies traditional and secular, his jobs as a tour guide and a lawyer, and his fashion of suits and dreads.
Tomer Naor said that he feels there is a disconnect between some perceptions and the reality of Israel.
“There is a complex collage of Israelis from different backgrounds, different experiences,” Tomer Naor said. “Those are the people that in a different reality could be our best friends, or even in a way, we could find ourselves in them.”
Matthew Lesh, AUJS National Political Affairs Director
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