Judith Rosenbluth, 21, is a junior at the University of Maryland double majoring in marketing and immersive digital media. She’s the president of U-Md.’s Students Supporting Israel (SSI) chapter, works on business development for the National Hillel Basketball Tournament and is a member of the fencing club.
How did you get into fencing?
I’ve been fencing since middle school. My family and I saw it at a street fair. My mom thought it’d be funny for me to try it because my Hebrew name is Yehudit, named after the warrior from the story of Chanukah. So I tried it and I really enjoyed it. Now, I’ve been fencing for around 13 years. I was number one for Central Jersey when I was younger but when I went to yeshivah high school, I didn’t have time to fence competitively. I was the captain of my high school fencing team, but it was pretty mellow. I’m not competitive anymore, unfortunately.
How did you become an Israel advocate?
I spent a gap year in seminary in Jerusalem. While I was there, there was an episode with a lot of rocket attacks.
I was on Instagram at that time, posting personal stuff. I saw people posting incorrect information about the current situation, while I was living through it with my friends and family. I decided to post my point of view on Israel and it took off from there. I got an internship with ISRAEL21c: a media company whose mission is to spread a positive message about Israel. They don’t get into the political aspects, they just focus on technological and scientific innovations coming out of Israel. I thought that was a very impactful way to talk about Israel on social media. I started working with them and from there, I went and posted my own views. Everything kind of took off from there.
What advocacy are you currently doing?
I’ve done a lot of events with Students Supporting Israel. I do a ton of tabling on campus. But a large part of it is also just being an active member of the student-led group. I’m in a group chat with the whole SSI leadership from different chapters around the world. It’s a way that I hear about a lot of relevant news. For example, there was a vote in Montgomery County a few weeks ago to pass the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism that I wouldn’t have known about if not from these students. It passed and I’m hoping it comes to Prince George’s County next. I wouldn’t have known that vote was happening if I hadn’t been looped in with SSI.
How has your experience at U-Md. been?
It’s been really good here. I feel like the faculty, the president and the administration are aware of the Jewish population. They’re very in touch with us about day-to-day things. When there are incidents, I think the administration handles it well. It’s one of the reasons I chose to come here.
What advice would you give to people who want to get involved?
If you want to be involved, it’s hard to do on your own. Look out for clubs on your campus that are doing well and join one. They’re all great, get involved with any of them. College students are in a position where it’s easy to be a part of something. If you aren’t in college, there are synagogue groups and local community events. Find a way to get affiliated with something.