On Thursday March 31st, The Youth Organization for Israel, the pro-Israel organization at Baruch College, had the privilege of hosting Chloe Valdary. She is an African American pro-Israel activist, who speaks at various universities across the country about Israel activism and the importance of taking a stand to support the things that you believe in. She shared her experiences with various students present at the event.
She was born to a Baptist family, and at the age of three years old, her father began to ask questions about their religion and after some research he discovered the First Century Church, where the congregants that belonged to that church were in fact practicing in accordance to the Torah, the Jewish Bible. They were observing Sabbath, Kosher practices, celebrating holy days etc. This was something that greatly appealed to Chloe’s parents. In New Orleans, her family joined its new community.
As a result, Chloe grew up observing many of the laws that comes directly from the Torah and Jewish culture. This upbringing had a enormous effect on her and it influenced her to become even more immersed in Jewish culture and Israel activities.
When she arrived at New Orleans University, she was a film student, but she wanted to take a stance on her campus and stand up foo Israel and its’ right to exist. She started a pro-Israel group on campus sponsored by CAMERA on Campus, and began her activities which would create a new atmosphere on her college campus. She began to hold events, and table in order to get a positive message out there about Israel and what it stands for. She wanted to ensure that people understood what Zionism truly meant and that Israel was not a racist apartheid state like many have tried to paint it.
She was able to achieve this environment on her campus and today she works for the Wall Street Journal, conducting a study about pro-Israel activities on college campuses across the country. Chloe was strong and she had the courage to stand up for what she believed in and for the truth. She encouraged us as a student body to continue to stand for the things that we believe in and to know that we can make a change and we can make a difference in our university environment if we put our minds to it.
As millennials we have the ability to change the world. We are the generation that will inherit the new world problems that trouble the world on a daily basis. It is our responsibility to stand up for what is right and create a better future for the generations to come. If we can lead by Chloe’s example and find the courage within ourselves to spread the truth and take action in order to create a better tomorrow, perhaps we will leave a better world for those who come after us.
Contributed by CAMERA Fellow at Baruch College, Sivanna Shusterman.