SSI Hopkins High School: “We are not going anywhere”

By Hezzy Segal and Daniel Grossman, Hopkins High School

As high school seniors, it is not an easy task to carve out time for a topic like “pro-Israel activism”. Every day we plow through college applications, rigorous senior-year coursework, and participate in extracurricular activities — it can be easy to forget that we are one of the only high school chapters part of the Students Supporting Israel international movement.

Recently, however, we had an “ah-ha” moment. If last year’s high schoolers (also in our situation) could have had such vehemence to leave their classes to fight for their “cause” of ripping down our posters and doing everything they could to get a pro-Israel voice out of Hopkins High School, we needed to find time to be active in our cause.

After a shaky first year, we realized that it is even more important to be a strong and confident pro-Israel voice within our school; with the end goal being to show our peers that our Students Supporting Israel is not leaving Hopkins. This mirrors the way we handled our posters constantly being ripped down — for every poster that got ripped down, a new one went up in the same spot. Last year, there were attempts to destroy our club. This year, we are saying to everyone: we are not going anywhere.

Our experiences last year have helped shape our values. While putting our posters back up, we learned that resilience is of the utmost importance. When meeting with our principal and fellow students on the situation, we learned that diplomatic discussions go further than shouting matches. When we shook hands with students after agreeing to a form of compromise that did not change what we stand for, we discovered that peace is achievable.

This year with the pandemic taking place, we do not know what is in store for us. We do not even know whether we will return to school at all. We do know, however, that we will continue to be active on social media, and we will have virtual events. We will stay strong so that Hopkins students going to college will be knowledgeable on the topic of Israel before being indoctrinated by anti-Semitic organizations prevalent on campuses, such as SJP.

The students who ripped down our posters last year never knew what an important lesson they taught us. They took time out of their days to rip down our posters. While skipping class for SSI is not what we’re about, this helped us realize that there is always time for something — whether it is a social media post, a conversation with a friend, or organizing a virtual webinar.

We are looking forward to a great second year of SSI Hopkins, no matter how crazy 2020–2021 may be.

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