Back Alyssa Petersel's Campaign to Document Jewish Resilience to Anti-Semitism

"In each of us there is a little of all of us" – George Lichtenberg. In the face of rising anti-Semitism, Alyssa Petersel tells stories of identity and resilience through the eyes of Millennial Jews in Budapest, Hungary.


Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/02/2014 -- While there is an increasing amount of online attention paid to rising political anti-Semitism in Hungary, not enough work is being done to highlight Jewish communities’ strength and resilient faith. According to Alyssa Petersel, the Millennial Jewish community in Budapest serves as a global reminder to all of us of our universally shared human drive to live fully. Alyssa yearns to share these stories. 

Alyssa’s Kickstarter is $3,000 out of $10,000 funded right now. If her Kickstarter is successfully funded, Alyssa will spend 10 months in Hungary writing an anthology-style book on Millennial Jewish Resilience in Budapest. Each chapter of this book will represent, in as close to their own words as possible, individuals' experiences who are regularly impacted by anti-Semitism as well as Jewish strength. An audio component will complement this book, compiled from the various interviews she will conduct.

Alyssa began interviewing young Jewish adults this past June through Skype. In the words of a recent interviewee of Alyssa’s, 23-year-old Agnes, a young Jewish female obtaining her MA in Nationalism Studies and Jewish Studies at Central European University in Budapest, considers embracing her Jewish identity to be "an obligation of revolting against injustices in the world."

Alyssa believes it is especially important to highlight Jewish resilience right now because Jewish people are at risk. She describes that Agnes observes this in Budapest through sculptures of Governor Miklos Horthy (head of the Hungarian state between 1920 and 1944 who agreed to deport most Hungarian Jews to concentration camps) rising across the country; friends, colleagues, and strangers making crude comments and behaving inappropriately in daily interactions; a rise of anti-Semitic extremist power in government; and a mass exodus of individuals and families that want to embrace their faith.

Alyssa envisions this book making authentic stories of experiences with anti-Semitism in Budapest available to a wide audience. Following the publication of this book, she plans to travel across the United States to distribute the book to cultural and academic communities nationwide. This distribution and educational awareness process will stir interest and action. Alyssa sees this project generating publicity and dialogue around a potentially culture-threatening issue, which one day she hopes might result in political pressure on Jobbik and others. Alyssa insists that this book may also serve as an educational tool for young people coming of age in Hungary and in Europe to mobilize around their connectedness, their Jewish culture, their heritage, and their humanity. Such a sensitization could cultivate an empathy that would render the transaction cost to engage in or condone anti-Semitism higher. 

This project will only be funded if at least $10,800 is pledged by Fri, Apr 18 2014 4:06 AM +05:30.

If this cause speaks to you, please consider making a contribution to the project here: