Student Spotlight: Talia Myers
Meet Talia Myers, a sophomore and president of SSI at Santa Monica College! She is currently studying sociology and she has further plans post-graduation.
“After graduation, I plan to transfer to my dream school UCLA to pursue academics towards the career of my dreams. I also plan to continue being involved with SSI at UCLA.”
Some students find SSI early in college and some later in college. For Talia, she had the opportunity right away in her freshman year. She explains,
“I joined SSI in my first year because I believe that it is important to support Israel. As a Jew, I am proud to call Israel my home. SSI has given me the opportunity to meet new students who also support Israel.”
Each student in SSI has their “why” behind joining and then becoming a strong leader in the movement. Talia shares her experience of how Zionism is incorporated into her activism.
“It has been hard to advocate for Israel on campus due to the pandemic. However, I believe that having an Israel advocacy club on campus is crucial. I believe that it is important because students from different religious backgrounds are able to connect with other students who are also fighting for Israel and have a connection to Israel. When the time permits, I will work hard to ensure that SSI has a voice on campus and to show what Zionism really means to the board members as well as the students who are active members of the club.”
Even through the struggle of the pandemic, Talia is a strong leader on campus, and she explains her upcoming SSI goals.
“The goals and campaigns that I intend to have on campus are to have different events for the Jewish holidays and I would also like to try to have speakers who come to speak about Israel. I am also hosting an Israel Fest with the Chabad of SMC for students to learn more about our club and how they can be more involved.”
As Talia educates students on campus about Israel, it is important she shares her personal connection to Israel and how that is a big part of her identity as a Jew.
“My connection to Israel is that I am Jewish and have grown up going to a Jewish school. I also have family in Israel. I have a strong connection to Israel in the way that I love Israel and am proud to call it my home. When going to Israel, it is always so exciting to go to the Kotel. It is a very special and unforgettable experience.”
Talia is a proud Jew and is well aware of the antisemitism the Jewish community faces on and off-campus. She shares an antisemitic incident and how it personally affected her.
“As Jews, we are faced with antisemitism, and the biggest struggle I face as well as some other students is how to fight against the antisemites. For example, a while ago the Chabad Rabbi’s car was vandalized, and hearing about this was very scary to me. However, it made me realize that we need to work towards being there for each other and fighting against it.”
Her calm strength as she faces antisemitism enables her to be an impactful SSI president for students across campus. To keep up with SSI at SMC, follow @ssi_smc on Instagram!