web analytics
May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Hot Chocolate Leads to Cool Dialogue

Hot Topic Hot Chocolate

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.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Hot Chocolate Leads to Cool Dialogue”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest News Stories
FIFA logo

Israel praises FIFA for avoiding what Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely called an “absurd situation.”

FIFA president Sepp (Joseph) Blatter and PM Binyamin Netanayhu

FIFA Pres. Sepp Blatter, 79, was re-elected to a fifth term heading the world soccer federation, despite bribery allegations.

PA's soccer chief Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee.

At the last minute before the proposal was to go to vote, Rajoub submitted an amendment that would cancel the bid to suspend Israel.

FIFA logo

Zurich police have confirmed there was a bomb threat to blow up the FIFA congress, but they have since allowed the annual convention to continue following a search.

Israeli Consul General refutes UJA president’s claim that government insists NIF march in Celebrate Israel parade.

They stopped Blatter from speaking, waved PA flags and demanded “Israel out.”

Reishit HaGez is the giving to the Kohen the first cuttings of the fleece of sheep grown in the Land of Israel (based on Deut. 18:4: “You are to give them the first fruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep.”). Most Jews cannot […]

Postal officials refuse mailmen’s request to be relieved of the job to deliver Baptist cult material that may be illegal.

Final steps are underway for building the City of David’s “Kedem” visitor’s center in Jerusalem that will sit on top of the “Givati Parking Lot” excavation just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls. The visitor’s center will serve as an entryway to the Jerusalem Walls National Park, which includes the City of David […]

The Orthodox Union, B’nai Brith and the Houston Federation are pitching in.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared Sunday, May 31 as “Celebrate Israel Day,” when thousands of Israeli Americans, Jews and supporters of Israel are to attend the Celebrate Israel Boston Festival sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Israeli-American Council Boston Chapter. Gov. Baker noted that Israel remains “a tremendous partner, economically and culturally,” to […]

The “rabbi “may be a “reverend” who allegedly was not revered by Ice Cube’s bullies.

Israeli PM Netanyahu talks about his vision for regional cooperation with Arab nations.

Hadera drew the attention of El Paso officials for the city’s desert environment, a large electric power plant, desalination plant and manufacturing complex, and the high-tech incubation programs at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, located 30 miles away.

A day devoted to “peaceful co-existence” in Jerusalem was marred by Arab “anti-normalization” thugs.

At least a dozen people are reported to have been killed in the attack, and another 30 wounded.

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.

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: