(Remember, voting starts (and ends) today. Vote for Noam, Alex Melman, and Lev Hirschorn. They are all pretty awesome people.) I’ll try to keep this as the top post all day: new content below
Noam Shuster is a 22 year old Israeli woman. Why is she, then, a freshman at Brandeis University? Because she’s spent her post-high school life volunteering, doing community service, taking classes at the New York Film Academy. Oh, and what else? Touring Europe giving lectures:
The pair are in England on a lightning two-week marathon lecture tour sponsored by the British Friends of Neve Shalom in an attempt to explain to anyone who will listen how their unique and extraordinary mini-society works – and how they believe that, at a time of complete deadlock in the Middle East, the type of co-existence their village practices is the best way to ensure peace.
Neve Shalom, where they live, is situated directly between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and is inhabited by 50 families – mixed between Jewish Israeli and Muslim and Christian Israeli Arab – learning, living and coexisting together. For Noam and Ranin, aged 22 and friends since they were small children growing up in Neve Shalom, or Wahat al-Salam as it is known in Arabic, such coexistence is completely natural – and the conflict that exists in the society outside completely alien.
So Noam toured Europe lecturing the Jewish community on how she, an Israeli, could have a Christian Arab best friend, and her experiences growing up in a genuinely peaceful and mixed community. More than just talk about how great things could be, Noam has also spent great effort taking action to create positive change:
Noam and Ranin have, for years, worked to try to improve understanding between Israeli’s Jewish community (approximately 80 percent of its six million residents) and its largely impoverished Arab community (20 percent).
Together, the pair have frequently helped to organise workshops bringing Israelis, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs together in a bid to help them understand each other.
It is only through talking, and breaking down prejudices and stereotypes, that the pair believe the conflict will ever be solved.
“The way we grew up makes us see things differently,” Noam told the Hendon audience. “So when the media says: ’Where is our partner for peace?’ I say: ’It’s here – just look, and you will find it.’ Sure, we won’t end our sessions signing peace treaties. But we will leave with a much better understanding of each other than ever before.
So she’s gone on “the kind of punishing lecture circuit which would come straight out of most public speakers’ worst nightmares,” but also set up workshops in Israel to promote friendship and dialogue between Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis, and Palestinians. She sounds like a pretty cool person to me. But you don’t have to my word for it:
As recently elected Vice-President of the Student Union and president of the senate I am writing to support Noam for Senator-at-Large. She is open-minded, she is fair, she is caring, she is talented, true and passionate. She is the right kind of perspective, a new kind of perspective-she is the right kind of leader for our community.
Her success making it to the final round as a write-in candidate is extremely telling, and I hope that my stepping forward and publicly supporting her will further demonstrate the great extent to which she is qualified and so very right for the job.
I strongly encourage you to vote for Noam in the final round.
To VOTE NOW, simply follow this link:
Your vote will mean a lot to our community.
Student Union Vice President-Elect
Noam has been endorsed by: Michael Kerns (Vice President Elect), Shreeya Sinha (Student Union President), Brian Paternostro (Student Union Advocate), Christina Khemraj (Director of Campus Life), Andrew Litwin(Massell Quad Senator), and Kaamila Mohamed (North Quad Senator), all people who have first hand knowledge of how Andrew Brooks and Justin Sulsky operate in the Senate and find the pair lacking in comparison to Noam.
- Noam’s platform is now up, as well. It’s pretty sweet, I dare say. Peace and Dialogue, Endowment Transparency, Dining Reform, and Environmental Responsibility? Who could argue with that?