Donate Shop Register Volunteer


Student Ambassadors
http://67.199.116.67/standwithus/app/iNews/Upload/21164246_AustrConf.JPG
Photo By: Jonnie Schnytzer

BY CASSILEE KAHN
AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS

MORE than 250 Australian students were trained in the art of Israel advocacy during a three-day conference held in Jerusalem this week.
 
The seminar, run by StandWithUs International (SWU) - a not-for-profit education organization aiming to ensure Israel's side of the story is told around the globe - in partnership with the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), featured lectures from senior Israeli officials.  These included spokesperson for the Prime Minister Mark Regev, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein and chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky.
 
Participants also visited the security barrier, heard from two IDF soldiers and met Sudanese refugees who have sought asylum in Israel.
 
The aim of the conference, the first of its kind for students on one-year programs in Israel, was to prepare the participants for the challenges they may face when they return to Australia, turning them into ambassadors equipped to articulate the Jewish State's case on campus.
 
To assist in that process, director of the SWU Israel Michael Dickson said they also took part in workshops covering the "three Ds" of anti-Israel rhetoric - demonisation, double standards and delegitimisation.
 
"They can confront the biggest accusations, the biggest allegations that are thrown at Israel on campus right now.  They deconstruct them and have a ready response," Dickson said.
 
"These guys can say that I've been there and know the issues, and therefore they'll have more credibility."
 
Executive director of the ZFA Robbie Franco, who was one of the instigators of the program, said: "We hope that this will serve as a model for other communities and that in the future, every one of the 8000 overseas participants on one-year programs will be afforded the opportunity of becoming a young ambassador for Israel.
 
"We believe this to be one of the most exciting new projects that we are undertaking - one that can dramatically assist in improving Israel's standing around the world."
 
Reflecting on the experience, participant Ashley Osie from Sydney said: "The past three days have been really intense.  We have heard from an incredibly diverse range of speakers, who have each presented us with a plethora of facts, opinions and information, and have taught us invaluable skills and techniques for advocating for and actively supporting Israel."
 
Dean Leveton from Sydney concurred. "The seminar ensured I can confidently embrace university life, both as a Zionist and a Jew.  To all university colleagues, challenge me. I dare you," he said."
Other stories
2/8/2016
As a first-year student at Brandeis University, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored sch...
2/8/2016
SAN DIEGO - Two black South African students who traveled to Israel to learn if South Afr...
2/8/2016
YU`s solidary mission`s hands-on work strengthens emotional bonds...
2/8/2016
American singer and actress Jennifer Lopez is facing boycott backlash on Twitter after a r...
2/8/2016
StandWithUs strongly condemns musician Ted Nugent for posting blatantly racist content on ...
2/5/2016
It is not every day one encounters a Cairo-born Muslim Arab, carefully taught to view Jews...
2/4/2016
Activists from left-wing Jewish groups scattered across the city on February 2 to distribu...
2/4/2016
Complexity, nuance and the possibility for empathy with Israelis are the real targets of t...
2/4/2016
An article in the Jan. 27 Sentinel detailing the Orlando-area billboards about Israel mad...
2/4/2016
The situation facing Jewish and pro-Israel students on Scottish campuses is a microcosm of...
2/4/2016
The 3200 block of University Boulevard in east Orange County has become a battleground ove...
2/3/2016
Winter in Israel, Jihad in Jerusalem and Stabbings in the Old City....
2/3/2016
This morning, 10,000 copies of a fake New York Times were handed out across Manhattan - a...
2/3/2016
A pro-Israel advocate cited instances of swastikas being spray painted on Jewish fraterni...
2/2/2016
A member of the Scottish Parliament has said the country`s Jewish community has “sta...
2/2/2016
The publication proclaimed Hillary Clinton had quit the campaign and the US would debate a...
1/29/2016
University of Waterloo students have voted No in a referendum that called on the universit...
1/28/2016
Embedded in the DNA of the Jewish People there is a special gene; call it "Zachor" -- reme...
1/28/2016
Only when we encounter the anti-Israel campaign within the LGBTQ community face to face do...
1/28/2016
Despite being bogged down in the Syrian Civil War, Hizballah continues to focus on expandi...

 

About Us
Get Involved
Resources
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites