In January 2016 I said L’hitraot to a much-loved student, Eryn Sarkin, as she embarked on a new journey with her family. Eryn left Herzlia School after completing Grade 10, as her father was offered a position at a University in Lisbon.
Upon arrival, they discovered that there was no Jewish school in Portugal. Determined to maintain her Jewish identity and Zionism instilled in her by her parents and Herzlia, she set out to be as involved with the Portuguese Jewish community as she possibly could, by organising challah bakes, donating time to both the synagogue in Lisbon and Chabad in Cascais, as well as offering support to the local Jewish charity organisation.
Once at university, she joined other local Jewish youth to re-establish the Portuguese Union of Jewish Students, and participating in advocacy in and around Europe. Having taken part in European Jewish life as a representative of Portugal, she was nominated by the Portuguese youth to be on the Board of Vice-Presidents of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), and on Friday 22 August 2021, she was elected at their General Assembly in Rome.
EUJS supports student unions throughout Europe and represents its members in both international organisations and institutions. They aim to create a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future in Europe through the empowerment of Jewish youth, and work to develop Jewish religious, spiritual, cultural and social heritage, ensuring continuity.
In her new position as one of the vice-presidents, Eryn aims to include and uplift Jewish youth, as well as to combat antisemitism.
Eryn thanks United Herzlia Schools for promoting her passion for Judaism and her love of community.
What a pleasure it was for me, when arriving in Lisbon in 2020, to be able to reconnect with Eryn and watch her continued success. She makes us proud!
• Published in the PDF edition of the September 2021 issue – Download here.
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