Donate Shop Register


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
12/14/2017
The Bal Harbour Village Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to pass an anti-Semitism...
12/14/2017
More than 1,000 people helped StandWithUs celebrate its 16th anniversary at its annual "Fe...
12/11/2017
StandWithUs applauds the Rutgers University for taking action against Professor Michael Ch...
12/11/2017
A Rutgers professor accused of posting anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook page over severa...
12/11/2017
A letter to faculty members by Rutgers University`s president and chancellor and obtained ...
12/11/2017
After some worrying comments by Rutgers President Robert Barchi defending professor Michae...
12/7/2017
President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel`s capital on Wednesday, bre...
12/7/2017
We discuss the historic announcement by President Trump of moving the US embassy back to J...
12/6/2017
StandWithUs applauds the U.S. Administration`s expected recognition of Jerusalem as the ca...
12/6/2017
WASHINGTON -- President Trump today recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying ...
12/5/2017
These days, it seems more and more that when I read articles on popular social justice and...
12/5/2017
On Nov. 20, UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian got caught retweeting something blatantly an...
12/4/2017
The American Studies Association boycotted the Jewish state. It wasn`t by popular demand. ...
12/4/2017
In October, University of Texas at Austin students connected with two Israeli Defense Forc...
12/4/2017
SAN DIEGO -- Amid growing indignation over aggressive Palestinian tactics at universities ...
12/1/2017
StandWithUs, an Israel education organization, has offered students at more than 80 North ...
11/30/2017
It`s a sight we`ve seen before: an effective and appealing speaker advocating for Israel, ...
11/29/2017
The University of Maryland student government is being applauded for killing a proposal ur...

 

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