But what Ron brought to the table when he became president of the L’Chaim Society Student Organization I established was a stirring Jewish pride that was matched only by his limitless love for Israel. Amid a ferocious determination to defend Israel with interminable scholarship and erudition, Ron maintained the closest of friendships with many Arab and Muslim students who respected him deeply for his warmth, integrity, and convictions.
Over the years I have continued to witness Ron mesmerizing professional audiences with his ingenious and factual arguments as to the righteousness of Israel’s cause.
There are many potential Ron Dermers at the world’s universities today, if only we can nurture their gifts in their formative years.
I believe that one of the Jewish community’s foremost priorities should be the establishment of an institute that selects great talent from a pool of students nationwide and trains them, over the course of a year and as part of a special scholarship, in the art of media and PR mastery. While promoting Jewish values and wisdom in the popular culture would be an integral part of the coursework, learning how to make Israel’s case methodically and effectively would be its first calling. In so doing we might just cultivate a new generation of young Jews that not only reverses Israel’s reputation but allows Judaism and the Jewish people to emerge as a light unto the nations.
About the Author: Shmuley Boteach, whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the founder of The World Values Network and the international bestselling author of 30 books, including “The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.
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