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Recent Accomplishments
Recent Accomplishments: Telling Israel's Story Around the World

For over 13 years StandWithUs has been dedicated to empowering Israel's supporters around the world to educate their communities about the young state's challenges and remarkable achievements. We have grown dramatically as we continue to realize our vision of creating a global army of educators for Israel. In 2011 we opened StandWithUs chapters in Paris and San Diego, and in 2012 we opened new offices in Boston and Toronto. We have grown to 17 offices around the world.

During the last year StandWithUs was covered extensively in print and electronic media, with over 1,000 stories and mentions in such publications as the New York Times, the Jerusalem Post, the Seattle Times, the Denver Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN (both website and ticker), and Al-Jazeera, among other prestigious local, national, and international media outlets.

The following are highlights of just some of our many creative initiatives of the past year.


Social Media

Recognizing that social media is the newest vehicle for the flow of information to the next generation of leaders, we have developed an exciting presence in the new media. With a generous contribution from David and Janet Polak, our social media department continues to grow and reach millions of users online.
  • Facebook:  By June 2011 we received over 1 million interactions every month on our Facebook pages, and the numbers are continuing to mount! With nearly half a million fans the StandWithUs Facebook page has the largest number of fans of any Facebook page of any Jewish Israel advocacy organization, giving us access to millions of people each week through social media.
  • YouTube:  We continue to produce videos on a range of hot topics relating to Israel, from advocacy on campuses facing virulent anti-Israel protests to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) movement. In cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we produced YouTube videos that feature Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon teaching about settlements, Jewish refugees from Arab countries, Jerusalem, and the peace process. View the newest video at here. Subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/standwithus.
  • Twitter:  With over 40,000 (and counting) Twitter followers continue to expand in number, educating and connecting users around the world.  Visit our Twitter page.

Countering Anti-Israel Propaganda
  • The "Israel Matters" Display:  This is our creative new way to educate and inspire people of all ages about Israel and to counter the anti-Israel display that routinely tours U.S. college campuses. ''Israel Matters'' is made up of 16 colorful panels, each 7 feet high, that collectively tell Israel's story through photographs and basic facts. The display has already been used by churches, synagogues, Jewish Federations, and student leaders on college campuses around the world.
  • Billboard Wars:  StandWithUs has been the leading organization to counter anti-Israel billboards in cities across the country. From New York to the Bay Area, StandWithUs has posted over 150 billboards to counter misinformation and hatemongering. The billboards can be viewed at www.SayYestoPeace.org and also at www.OnlyIsrael.org.
  • Timely Fact Sheets and Other Resources:  StandWithUs regularly creates fact sheets and web resources to counter anti-Israel distortions with information about the hottest issues facing Israel.
    • StandWithUs produced a fact sheet on the Muslim Brotherhood and sent out a call to action regarding the U.S. government fostering relations with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
    • Following the Gaza flotilla in 2011, StandWithUs created Flotilla Facts (www.flotillafacts.com), a website with documented, easy-to-understand facts about the Gaza flotilla. The site was translated into dozens of languages and used as a reference by social media activists, other organizations, the Israeli government, and supporters around the world.
    • In 2012 we produced a fact sheet detailing why the Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) is a setback for peace and a violation of international and Palestinian-Israeli agreements.
    • Our other renowned fact sheets focus on U.S. aid to Israel creating American jobs at home, the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and other hotly debated topics. Visit our Resources section to view more of our educational material.
  • Educational Booklets:  Our informative booklets help correct the one-sided anti-Israel narrative. Our new booklet, Jewish Refugees in the Middle East, tells the often forgotten story of the Jews who became refugees when they were forced to flee Arab countries after 1948. Other popular booklets include Only Israel, which highlights Israel's accomplishments and leadership in technology, business, medicine, humanitarianism, and civil rights, and 25 Short Answers to Tough Questions, which gives short, informative answers to the most common misconceptions about Israel and the conflict.
  • Our signature primer on Israel, Israel 101, contains updates on the war against Hamas, the Iranian nuclear threat, and the "soft" war against Israel known as ''BDS.'' It is now available in multiple languages, including French, Hebrew, and Spanish. You can find them at www.standwithus.com/booklets/il101.
  • Partnerships:  Over the last 11 years, StandWithUs has partnered with over 100 like-minded organizations to leverage funds and expand our mission, helping to create ambassadors for Israel while maximizing our supporters' donations.


Training Advocates for Israel
Even the most dedicated supporters of Israel may not know how to handle anti-Israel hostility, answer tough questions, and present their points of view. StandWithUs trains them to be effective speakers and advocates for Israel. Each year, StandWithUs organizes local and international conferences for students and community leaders in the U.S., Israel, Australia, South Africa, and England.

  • Campus Leadership Training:  StandWithUs continues to expand its training and support of student leaders on college campuses in North America and Israel.
  • Fellowships in North America and Israel:  StandWithUs has two college student fellowship programs. Through a generous gift from Steve and Rita Emerson, the StandWithUs Emerson Fellowship is entering its seventh year of selecting and training student leaders from over 50 campuses in the U.S. and Canada to organize educational events and combat anti-Israel rhetoric. The StandWithUs Israel Fellowship brings together Israel's elite students from major Israeli universities who have completed their service to the IDF and are now members of the Israeli army reserves, and it prepares them to better represent Israel as they assume leadership roles in Israeli society.
  • Israel in Focus Student Conference:  Through the generosity of the Milstein Family Foundation, StandWithUs brings 150 students to a leadership and diplomacy conference in Los Angeles every November, where they hear from world-renowned speakers, participate in workshops, and network with one another to compare experiences and plan future programs and collaborations.
  • Training High School Students:  StandWithUs is excited to expand our training and outreach to high school teens with our new StandWithUs-MZ Teens Internship -- our first high school leadership training program for over 50 passionate students from high schools across the U.S. Through the program the students will spend a year learning about Israel's history, being trained in effective activism techniques, and receive mentorship to become leaders in their schools and communities. Ultimately, they will enter college better prepared to promote and defend Israel as leaders on their campuses.
  • El Al Ambassadors:  StandWithUs is delighted to co-sponsor an important program that helps train El Al flight attendants and pilots to be goodwill ambassadors for Israel wherever they travel.


Specialized Conferences in Israel in 2012: Building Bridges

  • Technology Conference: Learn-Innovate-Lead Summit (LIL):  This four-day conference included tours and workshops for young entrepreneurs from around the world and showcased Israel as a unique "startup nation." Participants met with leading Israeli entrepreneurs and experts to learn about Israeli high-tech innovations and achievements. Based at the Technion, LIL included tours of landmarks of Israeli society and culture.
  • Law Conference: Student Conference on International Law (SCIL):  Sixty students from 25 countries learned about the practical complexities behind the theory of international law in a balanced academic environment. See the Jerusalem Post article about the conference at www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=283122.
  • Instagram Trip to Israel: Top Instagram Users Came to Israel:  Major users of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing software, came to Israel and shared their journey in photos while on the "Once in a Lifetime HD" trip, organized by StandWithUs Fellows of Tel Aviv University. This was the third annual Once in a Lifetime program, which brought influential bloggers to Israel to learn about its diverse society, meet top officials, and experience firsthand all that Israel has to offer. This delegation met with President Peres, was featured in countless major media outlets, and shared photos with an online audience of over 2 million people. TV coverage by the Israel evening news may be viewed here (with English subtitles): www.youtube. com/watch?v=fi4S-gU3GPI.
  • Entrepreneurs' Trip to Israel: Social Entrepreneurs Exchange (S.E.E. Israel):  A group of five young professionals from New Zealand, Brazil, India, and El Salvador flew to Israel, where they were joined by three Israelis. Each of them had founded a company or was very active in social entrepreneurship in his or her community and country. Hosted by the StandWithUs Fellows from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the group met with Israeli CEOs and entrepreneurs behind social projects throughout the country, and they experienced the vibrant, young social scene Israel has to offer. Read the Ynet article at www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4271200,00.html.
  • Food Critics' and Bloggers' Trip to Israel: Taste of Israel:  International food critics and bloggers were invited on a culinary tour of Israel to experience the diversity of Israeli society through their palates. Crossing the state to taste the delectable delights from an array of Israeli food locales, from open-air shuks (markets) to world-class restaurants, participants also visited organic farms, boutique wineries, and diverse culinary hotspots while writing articles about their experiences.


Campaigns

  • Peace Takes Two:  As one of our flagship campus campaigns, "Peace Takes Two" highlights the fact that peace will come only when Palestinians agree to sit down to negotiate with Israel.
  • I Heart Israel:  Launched in the 2012-2013 school year, this campaign helps pro-Israel students highlight Israel's gifts to the world.
  • Israeli Soldiers' Stories Speaking Tour:  On campuses and in communities across the U.S., StandWithUs presented a program in which young IDF soldiers shared their points of view and built bridges. The soldiers, trained by StandWithUs in Israel and in the U.S., built bridges with the thousands of students they addressed. Thanks to generous funding from the MZ Foundation, the program continues to expand and grow to hundreds of campuses and communities.
  • This is Israel:  Our recently printed informational cards showcase Israel as a beautiful, heartwarming, creative nation whose initiatives promote humanitarianism. This campaign shines a light on Israel's humanitarian efforts. View the cards at standwithus.com/ SIGNS/?type=focus&wc=51. Special thanks to Elder of Ziyon for his partnership.
  • Israel for Everyone:  This campaign will be launched by our new StandWithUs high school leadership program, the StandWithUs-MZ Teens. The campaign will give students an opportunity to educate their peers and communities during the 2012-2013 academic year.
  • Stop Hamas Now: Initiated after Israel's response to Hamas rocket-fire in August 2014, this campaign helps student and community leaders expose the threat of Hamas to Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas' clearly stated mission to eradicate the only Jewish, democratic state must be stopped. This campaign includes a petition, the Hamas Charter, and informational postcards for distribution. For more information, click HERE.
  • I Stand With Israel: This social media campaign started in the summer of 2014 in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Citizens from over 140 countries sent in photos of their passports with the phrase "I Stand With Israel" to show support for the Jewish state. You can see the album of photos here. To become a part of the campaign, email a photo of you standing with Israel along with your passport to [email protected]


Combating the Anti-Israel Boycott Movement
The international boycott movement is well funded and well organized, and it has continued with its efforts to isolate Israel, but we have helped ensure that it experienced significant setbacks with the following programs:

  • B.I.G. (Buy Israeli Goods) Global Campaign:  In cooperation with the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, StandWithUs launched a global campaign and website to promote purchasing Israeli goods. BIG has been covered and promoted around the world, in the Jerusalem Post and the Daily Alert and by Jewish federations, synagogues, and churches. This year, we partnered with JDeal and the Buy Israel Week with this campaign.
  • Educating Specific BDS Targets:  When UK-based Lush Cosmetics began promoting the anti-Israel group War on Want as one of its campaigns, StandWithUs protested to the company. Our London chapter continues to pressure Lush to drop the promotion. And when anti-Israel boycott activists tried to persuade shareholders of the retirement giant TIAA-CREF to divest from Israel-related companies, StandWithUs representatives met with TIAA-CREF officials and ensured that Israel's side of the story would be told. We continue to work toward educating those persons and companies targeted by the BDS movement.
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