Feb 10, 2016

A Slice of Israel Prepares High School Students to Counter Anti-Israel Activities at College

As the anti-Israel climate increases on college campuses, more than 200 high school juniors and seniors from public, private and day schools throughout South Palm Beach County gathered for College Prep: A Slice of Israel on January 13. Together, in Zinman Hall on the Federation campus, they learned from student and professional advocates as well as multimedia about addressing the challenges they are likely to encounter ahead.

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of South Palm Beach County developed this program in response to requests from parents, grandparents and community leaders,” said Jill Rose, JCRC Co-chair and chair of the event. “By reaching out to teens community-wide, we were able to draw an array of students, including those who might not be affiliated with a synagogue, day school or youth program, to learn from a variety of presenters.”

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Matt Weisbaum of JerusalemU presented his organization’s riveting film, Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus. Tuvia Book, who traveled to share his experiences of making aliyah and being a young IDF soldier, encouraged the teens to visit Israel, learn, connect and advocate. Student advocate Dalia Perez (FIU) shared her experiences of and responses to campus-wide anti-Israel activities and personal harassment, and Tara Levy, Michelle Herman, Talia Lerner, Lindsey Sigal and Brandon Wolfe (FAU), and Jack Steinberg (Pinecrest) provided information and insights.

Among the issues addressed were false claims and myths against Israel as an apartheid state, its delegitimacy as a nation, and its efforts to defend its state and its people, before Weisbaum and Rayna Exelbierd, a Stand With Us Coordinator, brought the program to a close.

“Our students learned about the challenges facing pro-Israel supporters at college, and gained a strong sense of the best ways to approach them,” said Rabbi Jonathan Kroll, Head of Yeshiva High School. “We are grateful for this opportunity to engage in a communal educational experience that deepens our shared commitment to Israel.”

Financial support for the program was provided by: the Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation, Michael & Jill Rose, Warren & Robin Struhl, and the Jewish Community Relations Council. The JCRC convened the successful program with the event’s Community Partners: ADL, AJC, Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach, Jewish Federations of North America Israel Action Network, JerusalemU, AIPAC, Stand With Us, and The David Project.

Photo captions (from top):

  • Tara Levy, Lindsay Sigal, Rayna Exelbierd, Jack Steinberg, Jill Rose, Matt Weisbaum, Dalia Perez, Tuvia Book, Michelle Herman, Brandon Wolfe, Talia Lerner
  • Jill Rose
  • Matt Weisbaum
  • More than 200 students attended College Prep: A Slice of Israel
  • Dalia Perez
  • Jack Steinberg
  • Tuvia Book

Click here to view more photos from this important event