EUJS Presidential Candidates 2023

The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) is excited to announce the candidates running for President for the term 2023–2025. The candidates, in alphabetical order, are Avital Grinberg and Emma Hallali.

Find their Manifestos (in alphabetical order) below:

Avital Grinberg

When I was elected to become your EUJS President one year ago, I promised EUJS would become a refuge, partner in crime, and family. After fully dedicating myself to the needs and dreams of Jewish students, we are getting closer to that vision - but we are not done yet. For the next two years, I want to continue the path of determination, idealism, and even more Chutzpah!*

In this challenging journey, my understanding of our demands deepened and my commitment to fight for greater action and visibility grew stronger. I learned to rise after setbacks and mistakes. Working harder than ever before, I led an office and board to serve an outspoken, caring, and diverse young Jewish Europe. This year, I have grown with EUJS, and now EUJS will grow even more with me.

Our Reality deserves to be represented. For the first time, EUJS brought grants to its unions for them to reach The Next Step. While we fundraised and built up this system, it is now essential to secure it for the future. When we sued Twitter under my leadership, I sensed its global impact. Now, we need to utilize the #TwitterTrial for policy and publicity work. This should be the beginning of expanding EUJS’ activity in the field of combating online antisemitism on all platforms by becoming part of networks around hate speech and strategic litigation.

Our Voice must be heard. Being young and Jewish shouldn’t be alienating - not within Jewish communities nor in Europe. From the meetings with decision-makers, I learned to prove our expertise. On-the-ground experience, which I also gained as Treasurer of JSUD, makes us unique when it comes to understanding problems, and finding and implementing solutions - especially regarding Jewish life on campus. In the lead-up to the EU elections, we’ll have to use our voice to promote a hate-free, democratic Europe. It is our responsibility to commit as allies and actors in global issues, such as the climate crisis and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As our unity is being challenged, it is up to EUJS to create educational spaces and mechanisms to speak about sensitive topics like Israel and remembrance in the most nuanced way.

Our Growth requires dreaming big, thinking forward, and strategizing over what’s to come. To celebrate our rich diversity, I’ll create opportunities that highlight the complexity of local Jewry, while offering platforms to marginalized groups within the community, such as Jews with disabilities, and MENA Jews. I’ll work on initiatives for young professionals and advocate for paid internships and scholarships to tackle student poverty. EUJS’ growth has to happen in spaces that need it the most, where ignorance and discrimination are breeding, like in many youth organizations.

My motivation to run for the presidency is rooted in my belief that constant development and stability complement each other perfectly. With my experience as an activist, a union leader, and current President, I have the necessary qualities of leadership, creativity, empathy, energy, and vision. Jewish Students, Chutzpah must go on! #ChutzpAvital

*Chutzpah: Yiddish, referring to shameless boldness.

Emma Hallali

Dear Unions, 

My name is Emma Hallali and I am running for EUJS President! 

Having served as EUJS Vice-President for the past year, I have gained invaluable insights and a deep understanding of the organisation. As a Jewish activist, I have witnessed the positive impact EUJS makes on the lives of young European Jewish students like myself. Serving you has fueled my passion and determination in taking my engagement to the next level. 

I am a 24 years-old young French Sephardic woman and a Master’s graduate in European law. Growing up, I cherished my heritage and embraced the values passed down through generations, including the importance of respect, solidarity and living together. It is within the French Union of Jewish students (UEJF) that I found understanding, gave a meaning, and gained pride in my identity as a French Jew. The surge of violent antisemitism in France over the past decade has amplified my commitment to this cause. Participating in the "White March" in honour of Mireille Knoll, a 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was brutally murdered for being Jewish, solidified my determination to fight against antisemitism and to prevent such horrific events from happening again. As President of my university’s UEJF Chapter, and then as National Delegate for Events and International Relations, I have acquired significant practical knowledge and expertise of local and national levels, which I am eager to bring and carry as EUJS President. 

Our European values, forged on the promise of “Never Again!” after the Shoah, compel us to fight against antisemitism and discrimination collectively, online and offline. United, we will act against the pervasive tide of hate, forging alliances and amplifying our Jewish voice. Our European and Jewish values intertwine, forming a strong alliance that champions justice, equality, compassion, and resilience. As we approach the 2024 EU elections, we stand united against the looming threats of both far-right and far-left extremism, while recognising their inherent differences and the necessity to address them separately. We must remain vigilant against rising populism’s threat to our inclusive and diverse European society. We will cultivate a European identity among young Jews aligned with our shared principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

I will strongly advocate to secure a Jewish future on our European campuses by collaborating with and encouraging universities, national student unions and youth organisations to adopt and implement the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. 

Our European Jewish identity is also deeply intertwined with Israel, especially amidst current political divisions. By acknowledging the profound impact Israel has on European Jewry, EUJS has a responsibility to maintain a strong and meaningful connection. 

As young Jews, we must uphold universal values, proudly and actively celebrate our diverse Jewish heritage. To accomplish that, we need to reclaim our non-partisan vision to ensure representation and belonging for all across Europe, by fostering a more inclusive and united European Jewish student community. 

I am convinced that together, we will move EUJS forward and upward by leading, inspiring and creating lasting change!

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