Today is December 16, 2019 -

Promoting Israel

I have received several e-mails over the past few weeks concerning the fear of anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses, and the need for Jewish students and communities to be prepared. Our think-tank has come up with a multi-tiered approach to assuage the situation.

We will target three groups:

  1. Our local campuses and their students
  2. Our local kids who are away at school
  3. Our local high school students who are not yet in college

Our first program will be this coming week. Federation will host Jonny Ariel, the executive director of Makom, an initiative of the Jewish Agency, who will meet with professional and student leadership from our area Hillels, including UAlbany and Union, as well as, hopefully, RPI and Skidmore, to discuss how to talk about Gaza with our students. Please let me know if you have a college student on a local campus without a Hillel who may be interested in coming.

In December the Israeli students who hosted our February Teen Mission delegation will be coming to Northeastern New York. We will promote community-wide events to allow our local kids to interact and hear first-hand positive experiences about life in Israel.

On January 4, while our out-of-town college kids are home on break, Federation and ADL will co-sponsor a major program providing our college and high-school students with some tools for dealing with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus. Please spread the word and save the date.

We will immediately follow on January 11 with a Joint Society event featuring Linda Scherzer, the director of Write on for Israel. This program of the Jewish Week engages top high-school students on Israel and trains them to become leaders in the pro-Israel movement when they get to college. Please save this date as well.

With the success of the February 2014 Teen Mission to Israel, we are looking to institute the trip as a bi-annual program. Federation will create a Teen Mission to Washington for Israel advocacy in the alternating years. We are now in the very early stages of discussing this new initiative. I invite you to please share your thoughts with me regarding this exciting program.

These programs will be conducted in addition to the ongoing efforts of our existing campus advocates, Hillel and Chabad, as well as our high school initiatives of synagogue and communal education and youth group programming.

As a final note, we welcome Maor Rosenberg, our new shaliach (emissary from Israel). Maor will be joining Keshet Regev, UAlbany Hillel’s shlicha, who is entering her second year in our community. Maor and Keshet are here to share their personal stories and experiences with our community and teach us about the wonderful things that Israel has to offer.

Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

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