Raised secular in a sleepy Masachussetts suburb, Neili Eggert never really thought about Judaism as a part of her identity until an antisemitic attack caused her brain damage.
“They kept telling me, move you f*cking jew! and then this guy sitting across from me told them, “go get that f*cking jew!” so they took my chair out from under me and i fell to the ground. They started hitting me in the neck with it. i fell unconscious and don’t remember a thing from the incident.”
Unsurprisingly, the school did nothing about it.
“when my friend called my mom and told her what happened, and she wanted to press charges, they told her they couldn’t do anything because the school hadn’t reported it.”
As a result of the attack, Neili emerged with brain and spinal cord damage, a massive blood clot in her neck, and physical and learning disabilities. She didn’t let that get in her way, though. Following that incident, she was homeschooled until she started college at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. In 2010, her grandmother persuaded her to go on Birthright, and she did. The trip changed her life; for the first time she felt at home, where she belonged, and she became passionate about defending the Jewish State and its people.
She then went on to become very active at her local Hillel, is involved in Hasbara Fellowships, and is most known for starting the highly successful chapter of Students Supporting Israel at UNC Charlotte.
So for anyone who says antisemitism isn’t a problem anymore and believes the “progressive” world will look after us so we don’t need Israel, show them this video. Show them how this woman took her adversity and turned it into opportunities, and dedicates herself tirelessly to Israel Advocacy despite all she’s been through.
Yisar Koah, Neili!