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03.12.2023 | כ כסלו התשפד

Jessica Scalisi

Jessica, a Bar-Ilan graduate, made aliyah 4 years ago, advocates for Israel through social media and initiates fundraising projects for evacuee children


Jessica recently completed her 3rd year at Bar-Ilan University, studying Political Science and Communications. She grew up in Merrick, New York, and made Aliyah four years ago.

During the Iron Swords war, Jessica decided to take an active role in Israel’s media awareness efforts. She set up an Instagram account called “Israel Unmasked”, where she writes about what Hamas is really about, as well as facts and statistics about the Middle East, to reflect the situation. Jessica quickly gained 500 followers, and was surprised to receive more positive than negative reactions. “Around 58% of the young generation in the US believe the Hamas attack was justified, and this generation obviously has a stronger presence online,” she says. “I saw a lot of negativity from people I grew up with. Somehow we are in a position where we have to prove our situation to the general public, and beg them to believe us”.

Another of Jessica’s initiatives was collecting funds for war-related causes. She raised over 6K NIS from people in the US, and purchased hot meals for IDF soldiers, as well as arts and crafts materials for displaced Israeli children and orphans, who are now staying in Eilat. “I got pictures of the children who went through horrifying events, creating and enjoying themselves, and it was heartwarming,” she says.

“I live in Beer Sheva, where we have a lot of missile attacks and sirens. Ofakim is right near my home, and many people were killed there on October 7th. My challenge is appreciating that I’m safe and alive, while trying to live with the fact that it happened so close, and that antisemitism is on the rise throughout the world. I feel safer here in Israel even though there are rockets. I’m very connected to my Jewish identity, now more than ever.

“Bar-Ilan University is doing a lot. One example is an initiative to connect international students with Israeli students, to make us feel connected rather than alone. The university also set up a hotline for emotional support in English.

“I think our main goal is to bring light into the world,” says Jessica. “Even when I’m faced with hate, like in my media awareness efforts, I respond with light”.