In episode 222 of The Just Checking In Podcast we checked in with Eric Frydman.
Eric works in law and has previously been President and Vice-President of the Jewish Law Student Association at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, where he studied in Toronto in Canada.
As part of his role there, Eric dealt with issues of antisemitism on campus and did a joint statement with the Muslim Law Student Association at the university to build bridges when the Israel-Palestine last ignited in 2021, prior to the October 7th massacre by Hamas.
As part of this work, Eric also led two trips to Israel for Jewish and non-Jewish students alike for a cultural programme called iTrek.
iTrek introduces tomorrow’s leaders in business, law, policy and STEM to Israel, helping them experience Israel first-hand through peer-led, week-long trips.
With over 22,000 graduate student participants across 103 nationalities since its launch in 2012, iTrek brings the richness and complexity of Israel to life through trips that combine education, culture, and fun.
After we interviewed British-Palestinian journalist Hamza Ali Shah about the Israel-Palestine conflict from the Palestinian side, we wanted to cover the conflict from the Israeli or Jewish side as well.
This desire was strengthened after the horrific events of October 7th 2023 where Hamas invaded Israel by car, foot and even hang-glider, murdered 1,200 Israeli citizens and kidnapped an estimated 240 people.
During a six-day ceasefire at the end of November, 105 hostages were released. However, tragically, of the 135 hostages still unaccounted for, Israel says that 19 are believed to be dead at time of recording.
In this episode we discuss the events of October 7th, the rise in antisemitism that has exploded since the conflict reignited across the world and the West and the impact that has had on Jewish people in those communities.
We also discuss his role as president of the Jewish law student association, iTrek and how we build bridges across what has now become one of, if not, THE most controversial and divisive political issue in the world right now.
We discuss the politicisation of empathy and compassion through the lens of this debate and what the future holds for Israelis and Palestinians.
For Eric’s mental health, we discuss why he is ‘culturally Jewish’ but not practicing and how he came to that conclusion, the mental health impact of the antisemitism he’s faced in life and the importance of finding your purpose and path forward.
As always, #itsokaytovent