Summer break brings countless ways to become a more skilled advocate for Israel. Many organizations, including The David Project, StandWithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, the Israel on Campus Coalition and others offer students opportunities to learn how to strengthen their skills on campus. Offerings include digital media and social media awareness, trips to Israel and seminars in North America.
Hasbara Fellowships brings students to Israel on a three-week trip that provides them with the background, knowledge and tools to become campus advocates. Since 2001, 2,000 students from 250 campuses have participated in the program. The first groups of summer 2012 are leaving later this month, and applications are still being accepted.
Participants in the Hasbara trips become Hasbara Fellows who take an active role in planning Israel-related activity on campus. Current fellow Sam Strasser, from the University of Western Ontario, is featured in a Hasbara video saying, “Seeing firsthand the Jewish connection to the land was a really big motivating factor when I went back [to campus] because I knew that what I was standing up for was right.”
For those who want to stay closer to home, opportunities are available across the country.
The David Project offers a variety of workshops and training seminars over the summer including Israel On Demand and their Israel Video Advocacy Seminar. Each focuses on a different set of skills for campus advocates. Past Israel On Demand seminars have incorporated tips on using comedy as a means for heightened communication and listening skills as well as hearing from major journalist and policy makers.
AEPi, the Israel on Campus Coalition, the David Project, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Jewish National Fund and Hasbara Fellowships are joining forces to offer Israel Amplified a unique seminar for students involved in Greek life. Between August 6 and 8, Greek students from across the country will gather in Arizona to network and learn how to build support for Israel on their campuses.
ICC’s MZ-Grinspoon Internship program kicks off with a training seminar in August that prepares students to take leadership roles on their campuses. Past interns have organized programs, mounted information campaigns, published campus Israel magazines and more.
While many summer programs already are full, there always are opportunities for students who want to learn more and do more on campus. Be sure to check with your campus Hillel, as well as CAMERA, the World Zionist Organization, and other groups to see what they have to offer.
Do you know of other summer training and travel opportunities? Are you participating in a workshop or skills-building session? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll check it out and spread the word!Rachel Henderson, Israel Campus Beat