Yael Battegay | Basel, Switzerland | 27

Tell us in a few words about yourself.

I’m a 27-year-old high school teacher. I’m a proud Swiss Jew.

 

If you have experienced antisemitism in your country, how was it expressed?

I have experienced very little antisemitism. If there were issues, it was rather a problem of ignorance than active antisemitism. Throughout my school and university career, it was almost never a problem getting time off for chagim or Shabbat. However, recently an employer was reluctant to give me time off for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It was clear to me that she had just never had a similar case, so I wouldn’t rate that as antisemitism.

 

What do you feel is the most productive way to fight hate?

Dialogue. I realised that the more open I am about my Judaism, the more people are interested and the more they care. Interacting with non-Jews and not shutting ourselves off is important, so the narrative of the “other” can’t develop.

 

What message would you like to relay to young Jews throughout the world who are worried about antisemitism?

Continue being open-minded and don’t take on an attitude of hate yourself. Promoting tolerance and acceptance for other cultures and religions is the best instrument against hate.

 

What message do you have for those marching in the “March of the living”?

The March of the living is a testament to the ability of the Jewish people to get up and stand together.

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