By Cheryl Aronson, Vice President, Israel and Overseas
CJP seeks to ensure college students have the opportunities to explore their Jewish identity and their relationship with Israel during this transformational time in their young adult lives. We want students to feel supported and informed when faced with rising anti-Israel sentiment on campuses across the country.
Here are a few recent highlights to share:
- In partnership with Hillel, IACT® (our post-Birthright Israel engagement program) continues to provide a variety of Jewish learning and engagement opportunities on college campuses. Thanks to our generous donors, this year we will provide monthly Shabbat meals and educational programs at no cost to students at Boston University, Northeastern University, and UMass Amherst.
- IACT’s national expansion is entering its third year this fall with the addition of five new campuses, reaching a total of 28 campuses and thousands more students. The initiative has sparked a number of high profile Israel-related events including the first “Amazing Israel Race” at Rutgers, and an innovative new Jewish leadership entrepreneurial program called Career Up at University of Florida.
- For the second year running, CJP sent its largest cohort of students on Onward Israel Boston, a program funded by The Lavine Family Leadership and Service Learning Fund. During the summer, 120 students participated in an eight-week internship program in Haifa and Jerusalem, serving the community and engaging in CJP's Israel Advocacy training that featured speakers such as The Honorable Michael Oren, Major (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, and David Horovitz, Israeli journalist, author, and founding editor of The Times of Israel.
- To kick off the fall semester, CJP and our Israel Campus Roundtable (ICR) hosted Moving Forward in the Middle East Summit, an event where more than 100 students from across Massachusetts welcomed Jonathan Elkhoury, a gay Lebanese-Israeli human rights activist, and Lian Najami, an Israeli-Arab coexistence activist. Both spoke about their experiences as human rights leaders in the Middle East. ICR’s calendar offers more than 95 events for students to learn about and discuss Israel-related topics throughout the year.
- In the spring IACT will partner with Boston Cares to organize community service on April 2 – International Good Deeds Day. We'll bring together IACT alumni from 12 New England campuses to serve on projects that support the elderly and those suffering from poverty or hunger. We’ll end the day with a Passover celebration and reunion.
If you have questions or would like more information, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.