OC Jewish Experience

The official blog of Jewish Orange County

UC Irvine students attend Hasbara Fellowships

FOR Immediate Release:

What: Hasbara Fellowships Israel Activism Training for College Students              

When: June 2011

Where: Israel

UC Irvine Students Chosen for Elite Israel Advocacy Training with Hasbara Fellowships

Students from UC Irvine are taking initiative this summer to get involved with Israel advocacy on their campuses. 4 student leaders from Irvine have been selected to participate in the elite Hasbara Fellowships activism training program in Israel this summer.

The 4 student leaders -Yekaterina Shutaya, Ryan Jenner, Ari Friedman, and David Gutkin of University of California, Irvine will be joining the Hasbara trip this June.

These outstanding students will be among 700 students, the largest contingency ever, from over 60 college campuses nationwide, that Hasbara will be training in Israel advocacy education this summer.

The Irvine students have all received generous sponsorship from the Rose Project in order to participate in the program.

Hasbara Fellowships was founded in 2001 as a partnership between the Foreign Ministry of Israel and Aish International. Ten years ago it became evident that anti-Israel propaganda on college campuses was a force to be reckoned with. Overt displays of anti-Israel sentiment grew into a burgeoning trend on campuses, and so, there was a need for students to stand up for Israel. Since it’s inception in 2001, over 2,000 students have participated in the Hasbara Fellowships Israel Activism Training Program.

Hasbara takes students on an intensive 2-week program with the goal of educating, training, and motivating students to become pro-Israel activists on their campuses as well as teaching the students to effectively combat wide-ranging anti-Israel propaganda.

Participants will hear from an array of historians, journalists, military personnel, politicians, and academics that will offer perspectives on various topics. Students will have the unique opportunity to go on strategic tours of Sderot, Hebron and Israeli borders of Syria and Lebanon.  This year, participants will also meet with multiple Israeli members of Knesset, receive top briefings at the Knesset, Israeli Foreign Ministry, and the Jerusalem Post, and visit high-tech start-up companies to learn about Israel’s advancements in alternative energy.

Students will learn how to communicate effectively for Israel, answer difficult questions, and run successful programming upon returning to campus. Participants will receive support from professional Hasbara staff to help facilitate pro-Israel programs. Hasbara Fellows become highly trained Israel activists leading pro-Israel activities back on campus.

Individual students are available for interviews upon request. Please direct all inquiries to Atara Jacobs, Community & Public Relations Coordinator at AJacobs@HasbaraFellowships.org or 201-951-3288


June 18, 2011 Posted by | Diaspora, Hillel, Israel, Jewish Federation Orange County, Media, Rose Project, UC Irvine | Leave a comment

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  Over the past week there has been inflammatory discourse in our community among Jews with a common purpose.  It became abundantly obvious over the past several days that this was due to several misunderstandings.  When the truth came to light we had reconciliation.  Once again we observe that accurate information is a powerful enemy of those who use bits and pieces to foment negative feelings and hate.

Monday night at a student/community meeting, the students reviewed their actions and made peace with one another.  They suggested a series of monthly meetings composed of students and community members to facilitate open communications and prevent the type of acrimony we saw over the past several days.  The Rose Council, Federation and Hillel have all agreed to help facilitate these meetings.

We wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and encourage everyone to reflect on all they have to be thankful for – including the energetic OC Jewish community in which we reside.


Shalom Elcott
President and CEO
Jewish Federation & Family Services
Orange County

Jordan Fruchtman
Executive Director
Hillel Foundation of Orange County

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Hillel, Jewish Federation Orange County, UC Irvine | , , , , , | 3 Comments