EUJS is proud to announce the candidates for EUJS President 2015-2017: Benjamin Fischer and Hester van Trommel. Read their profiles to learn more about them!
Elections will be held at the EUJS General Assembly, August 27th 2015 at Summer University. Delegates representing EUJS' member unions will be casting their votes on behalf of their country's young Jewish constituency.
Hester van Trommel, the Netherlands
Hi people, thank you for taking the time to read my candidacy for the EUJS presidency.
Through four questions and four focal points I would like to introduce my vision for EUJS and myself to you. I hope to meet you all on SummerU!
- Who am I?
I am Hester van Trommel, a Dutch 22-year old research master student in clinical psychology and theatre studies. The past years I have been active in the Dutch Union of Jewish Students and AIESEC to develop myself as a student leader. Things I like in life are traveling, debating, playing the piano and food (<3 hummus and falafel).
- What do I want?
I want to become the next EUJS president.
- Why do I want this?
I find it important to fight for my Jewish ideals and a continuation of Jewish life in Europe. Thereby do I wish to develop myself as a better leader. I believe that Jewish communities can be strengthened through student activism and advocacy: two things promoted and performed by the president of EUJS. I want to support the unions allied to EUJS to develop Jewish student leaders and assure a continuation of European Jewish life.
- What is my vision?
1) Spread a strong and representative image and sound on young European Jews.
I aspire to show the strength of young European Jews instead of merely focusing on the dangers and threats they face. Great initiatives such as the European Macabbi games and new initiatives to prevent anti-Semitism also need attention.
2) Empower young, motivated Jewish activists to provide leadership to their communities and unions.
We need to provide young Jewish activists with the appropriate means to transform into strong and capable leaders. Therefore we have to identify what their needs are and create training programs that will enable them to increase their knowledge and develop the skills that they require.
3) Jointly fight racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination and xenophobia.
To ensure the continuation of Jewish life in Europe and defend our Jewish morals and values, we cannot merely focus on our own challenges. By having good intercultural and interfaith relations with likeminded (European) organizations, EUJS will have a larger influence than when it operates alone.
4) Create more transparency with regard to what EUJS is doing and why they do this.
To ensure support from the represented unions, EUJS should be more transparent to its member unions about what they do and why they do so.
Benjamin Fischer, Germany
My name is Benjamin Fischer and I am a 24 years old student of political science from Hamburg, Germany. I grew up in a traditional Jewish household as the son of an Israeli mother and a German father. For as long as I can remember, I have been active in the Jewish community in Germany. I've been doing Hadracha, I am the elected student president of a national student Union in Germany and recently I built the Hillel Hub in Hamburg.
The opportunity to broaden my engagement and participate in the formation of European positions on issues concerning Jewry in Europe, Israel and the global Diaspora is not only of great importance to me personally, but a movement I would like to intensively serve further in future.
Therefore, I would be delighted and honoured if my decision to run for the office of president of the EUJS would be considered.
My political agenda consists of the following main points:
- Jewish organisations have to be inviting in order to claim empathy
- EUJS can only represent national initiatives when confidently representing an open, pluralistic and united Judaism. We should reach out to young Rabbis and Jewish leaders who share these views.
- I would want the EUJS to remain an organisation that lends its voice to human rights because the figth against Anti-Semitism equals fighting for human rights.
- To my mind the main tool to work together politically with national Unions lies in Online activism
- My main politcal goal would be to help setting a new European working definition of Anti-Semitism.
After all, my main focus would lie on working together with the national unions. The EUJS should work towards representation in national Jewish student initiatives and actively support these initiatives on the basis of shared Jewish values and positions.
I am confident that my engagement and experience in Jewish life and activism, working with different organisations, the politcal ambitions I have and my personal motivation qualify me for the office and I am excited for the weeks to come!