The holidays have just finished, but our work has just begun!
What work tops my list for the moment? Israel advocacy on American college campuses. Taglit Birthright and Masahave sent tens of thousands of young people to Israel for a transformative Jewish experience. But when these inspired students return to their respective colleges, they often realize that the place that brought them so much joy and growth is under constant attack.
As I travel across the United States, I speak regularly with college students and Jewish professionals working on campus who feel alone and often unprepared to deal with the deligitimization of Israel sweeping the country. Many times, it is Jewish professors and university administrators who badmouth Israel and push for divestiture and other harsh measures.
Our chairman, Natan Sharansky, has made a point of visiting college campuses to equip people with both the information and the inspiration to defend Israel and be a great ambassador for our homeland. The Jewish Agency sent 19 shlihim, educators with Israel’s message,to campuses across North America last year and doubled that number this year in a joint program with Hillels.These talented advocates work directly with students and campus staff on a long-term basis to provide much needed resources.
The presence of such leadership on campuses has and will make a real difference. It tells young people across America that when they love Israel, they’re in great company. And, beginning today - October 12th - the Jewish Agency will take a more pro-active role in PR for Israel in Israel itself with a fabulous new campaign: “Meshugah L’Yisrael” the “Crazy for Israel” campaign.
Let’s face it: you’ve got to be crazy when you care about Israel. It’s crazy that a nation so young can hold so much powerful history in its small borders. It’s crazy that a country that has to spend so much energy on defense can also produce 35 Nobel laureates, huge advances in science and medicine, and the swimsuit model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That’s us.
So we all have work to do. We have to help college students develop the passion and the language to defend Israel. And to learn more about out our “Meshugah L’Yisrael” click here. Join me in helping our emerging generation of leaders find the love, the words and the inspiration to be crazy about Israel.
Thanks for your help,