Meet Sharon Roofeh, President of Students Supporting Israel at San Diego State University! Sharon is a junior studying kinesiology with the aspiration of being a Physician Assistant. Sharon made the brave decision to go away for college, and it brought her new experiences and a better understanding of how people view Israel.
“I’ve always had a very strong connection with Israel, growing up in a Jewish home and constantly being around Jewish people. Going away for college made me realize that not many people know about Israel and the historical conflict it faces. I support Israel because it is the only other place in this world that as a Jewish woman I can call home.”
She continues to emphasize the struggles on campus as it relates to Israel.
“The biggest struggle would probably be that not many people know about the reason behind the animosity that Israel faces everyday. People just know that there’s an Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and just pick a side based off of what they see on the news not based off of their own research.”
Sharon recognizes the struggles and then makes a practical plan and solution to help the climate on campus.
“My goal is to get the students of SDSU to learn about the history and politics of Israel and why Israel should exist today. As for campaigns, I plan on hosting events with other cultural organizations on campus to show that we are an ally and not the enemy.”
COVID-19 has affected college campuses all over, and SDSU is no exception. However, Sharon has been resilient and she is excited for this year.
“Being that this past year was COVID and we couldn’t really do many in-person activism events; we did the most we could with speakers and just getting members more educated on personal stories. Now that we are back in person I plan to make SSI shine on our campus as it is our first year back.”
Sharon is aware that she will not change everyone’s mind when it comes to Israel, but she does know that she is making a big difference on campus. Sharon expresses her reason to join SSI and her approach on campus.
“I wanted to join SSI because of my deep passion and love for Israel and the Israeli people. My ultimate goal isn’t to force people to support Israel but to motivate them to educate themselves on the matter and come to their own conclusion that Israel really isn’t the bad guy. Also, I want the people in Israel to know that they have people all over the world fighting for them and having their back no matter what.”
Students Supporting Israel is a grassroots, student-led movement that is not religious, non-partisan, and welcomes all students who support Israel. Sharon is a strong leader who understands this aspect of SSI and lives it out.
“Zionism plays a huge role in my activism because I make sure to make it known that SSI is not a Jewish org. Yes, Israel is the land of the Jewish people but I promote the idea that we are open to all students, Jewish or not, that they can be a part of the change.”
We are thankful for Sharon’s style of leadership and her boldness to be the change at San Diego State University!