web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Hot Chocolate Leads to Cool Dialogue

Hot Topic Hot Chocolate

Share Button

It’s no surprise that students in Canada would love a free, warm beverage during the long, cold winter – but how can you turn that into a way to advocate for Israel?

Students at the University of Toronto used the cold Canadian winters as a way to promote open dialogue about Israel and educate their fellow students with a campaign they called Hot Chocolate, Hot Topic.

The campaign, which ran last semester, aimed to start dialogue about Israel and educate students about different subjects regarding Israel. Once a week, members of UT’s Israel Committee distributed hot chocolate and candy with quick, interesting facts about Israel.

The committee set up their table in spots that get a lot of passing students, hoping students would learn something on their way to class. The facts range from topics like environmental sustainability and technological innovation to LGBTQ rights in Israel.

Beca Bookman, a member of UT’s Israel Committee and the student who developed the idea for Hot Chocolate, Hot Topic, sought to provide opportunities for students who have no connection or information about Israel to learn some important facts about the country and shine a light on the positives that come out of Israel that often go unmentioned.

“We tailor our information to meet the individual’s interests, and we kept the conversation open, honest and welcoming,” Bookman said.

The campaign allowed students to talk about Israel and engage in dialogue with members of the committee. Bookman said she knows some students had wanted to express their opinions on Israel or ask questions and Hot Chocolate, Hot Topic provided an open place for conversation.

Chaim Grafstein, a member of the Israel Committee, explained that the initiative did just that, and even received an unlikely visitor, the writer of the counterpoint op-ed for Israel Apartheid Week. Grafstein said that instead of any conflict, it was a very positive situation. The student had a hot chocolate and a conversation with the committee members who were tabling. “Creating a positive atmosphere is a very big goal for us on a sometimes hostile campus,” Grafstein explained.

Grafstein said most of the students they reached out to during Hot Chocolate, Hot Topic would never have stopped to talk about Israel if it wasn’t for the hot chocolate. Bookman agreed that the campaign was successful, and said that the committee built wonderful relationships with fellow students. Bookman attributed some of the success to the fact that the campus community appreciates a group that welcomes conversation and isn’t afraid of a “hot topic.”

Grafstein added that the peaceful conversation is imperative because, “Now there are a few more students out there that have had a positive experience, and they have attached it to Israel.”

Bookman, who wrote the proposal that brought funding from the Israel on Campus Coalition for this project, said the most important and successful part of the campaign was that it showed the campus community that “discussions about Israel can be positive experiences.” Grafstein also said that the tabling was good for new members of the Israel Committee because it gave them a platform to get comfortable speaking with fellow students and advocating for Israel.

Hot Topic, Hot Chocolate let the University of Toronto know about the presence of the Israel Committee and the importance of Israel. During the semester, the campaign spread to Ryerson University and York University, both in Toronto, and plans are underway to continue providing students with facts about Israel — and hot chocolate — next year.

Share Button

About the Author: Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Hot Chocolate Leads to Cool Dialogue”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest News Stories
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.

Carole Zabar, longtime supporter of BDS promoters, is now in a pickle – Zabar’s is a BDS target.

Rav Bina, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh has sent the following letter out to alumni of the Yeshiva: Dear Alumni, This Wednesday one of my grandchildren will be undergoing crucial surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his leg. I ask all of you to please recite tehillim for him during the surgery, […]

Naftali Bennett speaking in the Knesset

PA president Abbas, who is about 9 years late for democratic elections, has threatened to dismantle the PA and annul the Oslo Accords. Sounds good to us…

Hamas supporters marching on the Temple Mount, waving Hamas flags.

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and his family’s visit to the Temple Mount was cut short when violent rioting once again broke out on the holy site.

Anti-semitic attacks have escalated with the firebombing of a synagogue in the Ukraine. Watch the video of the attack…

A surprised group of hikers stumbled across human bones in a Gush Etzion cave. But what they actually found was even more astounding.

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.

A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.

On Friday afternoon, Syrian fighter jets hit opposition/rebel targets and villages on the Syrian side of the Ramat HaGolan (Golan Heights), in the Quneitra region. Large pillars of smoke are seen rising from struck areas. Quneitra is the site of an official crossing between Syria and Israel on the Golan. IAF jets were sent out […]

As Rabbi Stav said, “You’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew?”

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

Following intelligence reports of further expected Arab rioting and violence on the Temple Mount today, the police have placed restrictions on Muslim entry to the Jewish holy site, according to a report on Arutz-7. Entry will be limited to Muslims over the age of 50, and women, also they must be Israeli citizens or residency […]

PA President Abbas’s refusal to publicly condemn the terror attack that killed Baruch Mizrachi is putting a damper on the parade.

The Shas political party, founded and run by the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, has a appointed a new spiritual leader, according to a Galei Tzahal report. The rabbi chosen to replace Harav Ovadia and be the new president of the party’s Council of Torah Sages is Rabbi Shalom Cohen. Aryeh Deri is the political leader […]

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

More Articles from Sara Macias, Israel Campus Beat
Hot Topic Hot Chocolate

Students at the University of Toronto used the cold Canadian winters as a way to promote open dialogue about Israel and educate their fellow students with a campaign they called Hot Chocolate, Hot Topic.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/on-campus/hot-chocolate-leads-to-cool-dialogue/2012/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: