This past Monday, Rambam played host to a special assembly hearing Maria Ntourlia, the Tri-State Area High School Coordinator for StandWithUs, speak.

StandWithUs is an international organization dedicated to fighting misinformation and anti-Semitism specifically regarding the State of Israel. Maria came to speak at Rambam as a part of senior Avi Koenig’s work with her on StandWithUs’ Tri-State Area Teen Leadership Council.

The assembly opened with Rabbi Yotav Eliach, Principal of Rambam and author of Judaism, Zionism, and the Land of Israel, talking about the changing atmosphere regarding Israel over the past 40 years. He was followed by Avi, who introduced Maria, as well as the topic of the assembly, “Anti-Semitism vs. Legitimate Criticism.” Maria then got up and spoke about how to distinguish between the two by identifying the “Three D’s”: Demonization, Delegitimization, and Double Standards in rhetoric surrounding Israel. While doing this, the Rambam students engaged in discussion with Maria, questioning and qualifying the facts she presented in order to elicit a richer understanding of the topic.

Following the presentation, there was a short Q&A session before everyone had to depart. This was an engaging and informative assembly that will most certainly be remembered by the Rambam students in attendance.