Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

State of the (Student) Union: From one learning on the job


As president of Knights for Israel, this semester marked the beginning of one of the most difficult periods of my life. I am three months into my new position and it would be fair to say I underestimated how challenging this role would be. As a biotechnology major I realized beforehand how often my studies and this job would interfere with one another. Yet my love for Israel knows not a single bound and I accepted the position anyway. What I could not anticipate were the growing pains I would face. I set high expectations for myself, this organization, and its subsequent efforts to celebrate Israel and educate others. I’ve endured and I’ve grown as both a leader and a person and I admit I have yet to have a single regret in taking on such heavy responsibilities.

We should take pride in how much we’ve grown in a semester and in the fact that this organization assumes the stance of being one that seeks peace and a genuine understanding for each party in the burning region known as the Middle East. Rather than make Israel a more polarizing topic than she already is and isolate her even further, we stress the importance of reaching out a hand to all those striving to bring light to the world; even if we don’t agree on the best way to do so. It’s a philosophy all those involved with Knights for Israel immediately fell behind and it’s why we’re all growing and learning together so rapidly.

Prior to stepping foot on campus as president, I made it a priority that we target those wanting to learn more about our country rather than combat the beliefs of those whose minds are set. We target those who seek to make a difference through understanding and not through the arrogant belief that one has it all figured out. This arrogance manifests into ignorance and inaction, not compassion and service. As an educator of Israel this is a sad mentality that I witness all too often and it renders actors of this philosophy so astoundingly ineffective. It paints this delusional image that one is making an impact when in reality one is just reinforcing his or her beliefs in a metaphorical room full of others with the exact same beliefs. This is a mistake reserved for the ignorant, not those that make this world a better place.

A real leader prioritizes the individuals of the group rather than the group itself. We are building leaders, not a group. To make a lasting difference for the beliefs you care about most it is imperative to understand that the influence of multiple individuals far outweighs the influence of a single group. The strengths of those involved will never grow through me or Knights for Israel. On the contrary the strengths of Knights for Israel and myself will grow through our members.


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