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What 9 Jewish teens from across the US said they took away from marching for Israel in DC

(JTA) — They went to Washington to support Israel and left the rally with a deepened sense of the Jewish community in the United States.

So said teenagers who were among the estimated 290,000 Israel supporters who gathered on the National Mall on Tuesday — one of the largest gatherings of Jews in U.S. history. JTA’s Teen Journalism Fellows were at the March for Israel to report on their peers’ experiences throughout the day; many heard from teens that they would be returning home inspired by the number of people, the range of Judaism represented, the support of non-Jewish allies and the overall feeling of hope.

Here’s what nine young people who were proud to be a part of the historic gathering said during their day in D.C.

Isaac Shalit, 14, Austin, Texas

World War I Memorial, 10:34 a.m.

(Ami Gelman)

I’m feeling great. Everywhere you see there are people to represent Israel. It’s great to see that there are a bunch of other people coming together for the same reason you are.

[At the minyan outside the White House Tuesday morning] there was a lot of singing, a lot of dancing. You saw completely different sects, completely different parts of Judaism. A guy in a full suit with a hat on, dancing with a guy without even a kippah on. It was great seeing everyone coming together for Israel.

Lior Markus, 16, Toronto, Ontario

The National Mall, 11:59 a.m.

I haven’t felt this many presence of Jews since I was last in Israel. There’s a nice sense of patriotism of sorts — everyone is here to support our country, our people, our nation. It’s beautiful, beautiful to see.

Juju Jennet, 17, Washington, D.C.

The National Mall, 12:10 p.m.

I’m here to support my fellow Jewish people and stand up against antisemitism. It’s amazing to see all the Jewish people here and even supporters that aren’t Jewish. It’s just crazy to see these numbers, and it feels great that so many people are in support of Israel and are standing up against Hamas and rising antisemitism.

Yoshi Polotsky, 13, Denver, Colorado

The National Mall, 12:25 p.m.

(Ami Gelman)

I’m here to represent Israel in the fight against Hamas. My heritage shows how much I love Israel. It feels like a really big community here. It’s a warm, fuzzy family.

Adin Linden, 17, New York City

The National Mall, 2:19 p.m.

(Ami Gelman)

I’m here to show my support for Israel, and to show the people who are fighting back against Israel in America that we’re stronger than them. We’re more united.

I’ve seen people from all different parts of my life, but also people who are more religious, people who are less religious, all different races, genders. It’s just very powerful to see all these different groups coming together.

Emma Shalmiyev, 17, Lower Merion, Philadelphia

Recorded on the bus returning home from the rally, 5:29 p.m


I feel moved and inspired. Each speaker expressed so much emotion. It was crazy and uplifting to see so many people come. The rally also showed me that people do care — not just Jews — and that there are so many of us. I didn’t realize that before.

I remember thinking at the rally, there is hope. There may have been hope before but now there is so much more!

Hadas Winberg, 15, Newton, Massachusetts

At the airport coming home from the rally, 7:41 p.m.

Winberg, right, with her father, Rabbi Seth Winberg of Brandeis Hillel. (Courtesy)

I went [to the rally] to have an impact on powerful people. But I also went to boost morale. For example, my aunt, who lives in Israel, shared that she was looking forward to hearing about the news in D.C. because all the news lately has been so bad. So I was also there to be part of something that positively impacts civilians and makes them feel supported. That is the most important thing that we can do now.

Aliya Ryman, 15, Bronx, New York

On the bus heading home from the rally, 8:46 p.m.

Ryman, center, with her father and brother. (Courtesy)

I wanted to come to this rally because I feel really connected to my Jewish identity and culture. I also knew that this was something that I’d remember forever — and a memory that I can pass on to future generations. So many people coming to stand up for Israel is very powerful.

I was horrified and devastated for the families who’ve lost loved ones and those whose family members are wounded or being held hostage. I wanted to show solidarity and let them know that we’re all here to support them.

I also have a tremendous sense of pride in our people and their resilience. But the need for the rally in the first place worries me.

Chinka Fried, 19, Israeli living in Lower Merion, Philadelphia

Recorded at home after the rally, 10:26 p.m.

Fried, left, with two friends, all of whom serving in Sherut Leumi, Israel’s National Service. (Courtesy)

I came to the rally to show support for Medinat Israel [the State of Israel] and Eretz Israel [the land of Israel], and to bring the [hostage] kids home. I saw the strength of the Jewish community in the U.S. There were so many people — so many different people and communities. I was very inspired. But I was also sad because we congregated as a result of tragedy in Israel and antisemitism in the U.S. Nonetheless, I am proud of the U.S. community and how it stands up for Israel. That was really nice to see.

The post What 9 Jewish teens from across the US said they took away from marching for Israel in DC appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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UN Committee Says Not Enough Evidence to Declare a Famine in Gaza

Egyptian trucks carrying humanitarian aid make their way to the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, May 30, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The United Nations Famine Review Committee (FRC), a panel of experts in international food security and nutrition, has cast doubt on the notion that the northern Gaza Strip is suffering through a famine.

In a report released earlier this month, the committee responded to a claim by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) — a US-created provider of warning and analysis on food insecurity — that a famine was likely underway in northern Gaza. FEWS NET said that northern Gaza began experiencing famine in April and projected that the embattled enclave would endure famine until at least July 31.

The FRC rejected the assertion that northern Gaza is experiencing famine, citing the “uncertainty and lack of convergence of the supporting evidence employed in the analysis.” The panel carries out evaluations of humanitarian conditions on behalf of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), an international famine monitoring initiative. 

The FRC added that there is not sufficient evidence to confirm the existence of a famine within northern Gaza and called for more humanitarian access into the warzone, providing experts an opportunity to give an accurate assessment of the conditions. 

“The very fact that we are unable to endorse (or not) FEWS NET’s analysis is driven by the lack of essential up-to-date data on human well-being in northern Gaza, and Gaza at large,” the report stated. “Thus, the FRC strongly requests all parties to enable humanitarian access in general, and specifically to provide a window of opportunity to conduct field surveys in northern Gaza to have more solid evidence of the food consumption, nutrition, and mortality situation.”

However, the panel warned that Gaza is still enduring “extreme human suffering” and called for the “complete, safe, unhindered, and sustained” transport of aid into the enclave.

The report represents a course-reversal for the FRC, which claimed that Gaza likely surpassed the “famine thresholds for acute malnutrition” in March. The FRC now contends that civilians in Gaza are experiencing improved humanitarian conditions as a result of increased aid flowing into the war-torn enclave.   

“Since the FRC review conducted in March 2024, there seems to have been a significant increase in the number of food trucks entering northern Gaza,” the report read.

“The FEWS NET analysis acknowledges that humanitarian assistance in the area has increased significantly, finding that caloric availability from humanitarian assistance increased from 9 percent in February to 34 percent  to 36 percent in March and 59 percent to 63 percent in April. The opening of alternative routes to the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, the authorization of commercial truck entry, as well as airdrops, allowed for an increase of food availability,” the report continued.

Several aid agencies, media outlets, and politicians, as well as pro-Palestinian activists, have repeatedly accused Israel of inflicting famine on Palestinians since beginning its military operations in Gaza following Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of over 1,200 people throughout southern Israel. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, accused Israel of using starvation as a “weapon of war.”

Despite these allegations, data produced by the United Nations showed that Israel allowed more than 100 food trucks to enter Gaza per day in March, an increase from the daily average of 70 trucks before the war. Moreover, many trucks transporting aid into Gaza have been hijacked and seized by Hamas terrorists, increasing the difficulty of distributing food to civilians.

The post UN Committee Says Not Enough Evidence to Declare a Famine in Gaza first appeared on

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Hundreds rallied outside Toronto school board offices to protest a racism report that doesn’t mention antisemitism

Hundreds of people filled the lawn in front of the Toronto District School Board (TSDB) to oppose a proposed anti-discrimination policy being voted on by trustees that would include recognizing anti-Palestinian racism—while failing to acknowledge rising antisemitism in schools. The report, entitled Combating Hate and Racism: Student Learning Strategy, was received without any amendments by […]

The post Hundreds rallied outside Toronto school board offices to protest a racism report that doesn’t mention antisemitism appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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French President Denounces ‘Scourge of Antisemitism’ After 12-Year-Old Jewish Girl Raped

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference in Paris, France, June 12, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday denounced the “scourge of antisemitism” and called on schools to hold discussions on racism and hatred of Jews after three boys were charged with raping a 12-year-old Jewish girl in a Paris suburb.

The young girl told police that she was approached by three boys who raped and beat her in the northwestern Paris suburb of Courbevoie on Saturday in an incident that French authorities have described as a hate crime. According to French media, the assailants called the victim a “dirty Jew” and uttered other antisemitic remarks during the brutal gang-rape.

A police source told AFP that one of the boys asked the young girl questions about “her Jewish religion” and Israel, citing the child’s statement to investigators.

The boys — two aged 13 and one 12 — were arrested on Monday and indicted on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Macron’s office said the president asked French Education Minister Nicole Belloubet “to organize a discussion in all schools on the fight against antisemitism and racism, to prevent hate speech with serious consequences from infiltrating schools.”

The rape of the unnamed 12-year-old girl has caused outrage throughout France and among the Jewish community.

Elie Korchia, president of France’s Central Israelite Consistory, told BFM TV that the girl was raped “because she is Jewish,” adding, “We have never seen antisemitism that extends so far in all areas of life.”

Courbevoie Mayor Jacques Kossowski echoed that sentiment in a statement released on X/Twitter, saying, “The rape was carried out with antisemitic intent.”

Eric Ciotti, leader of Les Républicains, also condemned the “rise of antisemitism” in France, which he argued was “fueled by the alliance of the far left.” He added that “we must act as a bulwark” against antisemitism.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Rally party, decried the rape on social media. She noted “the explosion of antisemitic acts” in France since Oct. 7.

The recent gang-rape came amid a record surge of antisemitism in France in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. Antisemitic outrages rose by over 1,000 percent in the final three months of 2023 compared with the previous year, with over 1,200 incidents reported — greater than the total number of incidents in France for the previous three years combined.

In April, a Jewish woman was beaten and raped in a suburb of Paris as “vengeance for Palestine.”

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