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
5/26/2015
StandWithUs applauds UC President Janet Napolitano`s support for officially adopting the U...
5/26/2015
SWU-Israel director Michael Dickson was honored to be chosen to join a forum of Israeli fo...
5/26/2015
Kay Wilson, a survivor of a terror attack in Israel, will be the guest speaker at the sec...
5/26/2015
As the new government gets started, the main actors in the Mideast diplomatic drama are al...
5/26/2015
Israel has faced existential danger since its founding. It pushed back conventional assaul...
5/26/2015
StandWithUs` rolled through Oklahoma, northern Miami and North Carolina with four Israel D...
5/22/2015
Liana Kadisha, a senior at Stanford University, says some Jewish students on her campus fe...
5/22/2015
Both supporters and opponents of boycotting Israel say the other side is spewing lies. Tha...
5/21/2015
BBYO Teen Interviews StandWithUs High School Coordinators, Sarah Gipoor and Tahli Hanuka, ...
5/21/2015
Lital and Elad who participated in StandWithUs` 6th Israeli Soldiers Tour are interviewed ...
5/21/2015
PRIOR TO the official launch of the new StandWithUs headquarters off Jerusalem`s King Davi...
5/20/2015
March of the Living Holocaust educational trip to Poland and Israel makes impact on Boca R...
5/20/2015
A day after landmark legislation passes Illinois legislature, pro-Israel activists say win...
5/19/2015
StandWithUs congratulates the Illinois House which on May 18, 2015 joined the state`s sena...
5/19/2015
Illinois on Monday became the third state in a month to pass legislation formally opposing...
5/15/2015
Lital and I participated in the 6th "Israeli Soldiers Tour," speaking on campuses, high sc...
5/14/2015
Coop legal counsel finds national origin boycott could violate NY Human Rights Law....
5/14/2015
Illinois is the first state to pass legislation (SB 1761, Amendment 3) prohibiting a state...
5/13/2015
Two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers shared their personal experiences with area high...
5/13/2015
How we can begin the end of radical Islam...

 

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