Weston Girl Fights Anti-Semitism As Teen Trainer

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Julia Weisman of Weston is a teen trainer with the Anti-Defamation League who participates in workshops that teach kids about anti-Semitism. Photo Credit: Deborah Somerville

WESTON, Conn. – After experiencing hatred first-hand, Julia Weisman, a 16-year-old sophomore at Weston High School, became a teen trainer with the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League’s Confronting Anti-Semitism program, which conducts workshops with synagogues, Jewish camps and youth groups.

She is one of 14 teen trainers who received a top Movers and Shakers of 2012 Award from the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, which highlights Jewish leaders around the state.

Julia first experienced anti-Semitism when she was 11 near her grandmother’s home in Florida. “My mom and I were walking in the community and my mom looked at the ground and saw swastikas,” Julia said. “I didn’t know what they were. But she told me it was a Nazi figure, and I got scared and frightened."

She also said she experienced anti-Semitism as a 15-year-old in Weston but didn’t want to comment on it.

As a teen trainer, Julia “meets with younger kids and brings them together,” she said. “We share our stories, and I tell them what they can do when they’re in a situation: They can tell a parent or teacher,” Julia said. “I don’t want them to go through the same experience as I did, but if they do they should know how to deal with it."

She discusses anti-Semitism and bullying, including experiences in schools and buses as well as cyberbullying online and via cell phones, according to Cantor Sharon Citrin, a coordinator at the Anti-Defamation League of Connecticut.

“Teen trainers have the experience and present their stories at workshops that serve as role models for leadership and empowerment,” Citrin said.

Julia has played violin since she was 4 and is a member of the Weston High School Symphony Orchestra. She also visits Hurlbutt Elementary School to present violin music to students, counsels a Weston girl with autism and is a member of the Weston High tennis team.

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PBealle:

Good work, Julia. It's an important undertaking and you're to be commended, as you have been.

Blabbermouth68:

I have seen the hammer and sickle, a symbol of the communism that murdered scores of millions of Christians in the Soviet Union and elsewhere,scrawled on walls in New york. I see Catholicism and its Pope ridiculed and slandered continuously. Evangelical Christians are mocked, and treated by the media as fodder for entertainment. Will any of this evil be discussed in these "workshops"? Or has the victimology become very selective?