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Israeli Personalities Hail 'New Generation of Israel's Ambassadors'
ISRAELI PERSONALITIES HAIL 'NEW GENERATION OF ISRAEL'S AMBASSADORS' AT THE GRADUATION OF THE SIXTH STANDWITHUS ISRAEL FELLOWSHIP ON JULY 1 AT THE ISRAEL AIR FORCE CENTER

 
From Right to Left: Eliezer Shkedy, 
CEO ElAl Airlines; 
basketball star Tal Brody, 
former Miss Israel Ilana Shoshan Diament 
and StandWithUs Israel Director 
Michael Dickson

Leaders of Israeli industry, music, diplomacy and sport participated in a moving graduation ceremony for Israeli students who seek to represent Israel on the world stage July 1, 2012 from Israel's Air Force Center in Herzilya.
 
CEO of ELAL, and former head of Israel's Air Force, Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, joined basketball legend Tal Brody, former Miss Israel,  Ilana Shoshan Diament, music publisher Ran Geffen-Lifshitz and other prominent businesspeople and personalities at the Graduation of the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship. All are members of StandWithUs's Israel Board.
 
The Fellowship "identifies, educates and empowers the next generation of Israelis to be globally minded articulate ambassadors for Israel” explained StandWithUs Israel Director, Michael Dickson. 150 Israeli young adults, are selected for the program from a pool of 1,500 applications each year. The Graduation took place at Israel's Air Force Center in Herzliya and was livestreamed around the world. Officials present at the event included Vice Minister for the Negev and Galil, Ayoub Kara.
 
In a keynote address, Shkedy told the graduating Fellows: "Seeing you here makes me very proud. As someone who protected Israel in the military field, today, we fight a completely different war than we have fought in the past. It is the soft power of words, demonizing and delegitimizing Israel. Only through education and telling the truth will we prevail."
 
The program pioneered by Shkedy, "ELAL Ambassadors" was showcased; it brings top flight personnel to speak to audiences worldwide during their layovers and was developed together with StandWithUs, as well as Israel's Foreign Ministry and the Jewish Agency.
 
Endorsed by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Union of Israeli Students, this prestigious program trains outstanding students from major Israeli universities across the country and prepares them to assume leadership roles in Israeli society. Alumni of the program have interned and worked at the White House, several Israeli government ministries and embassies around the world and at prominent NGOs.

Fellows are taught by the brightest and most well-known leaders in academia, international affairs, public diplomacy, politics and history. Throughout the academic year, the Fellows learn to debate, run campaigns, and understand the media - important skills they can take into the world to advocate for Israel. Special focus is devoted to an initiative designed and created by each campus, where they seek to shatter many of the stereotypes of Israel’s image. Each of the 6 projects has the potential to make an extensive impact on global public opinion and to positively change the false impressions Israel receives in the international arena. This year’s projects include delegations to Israel from all over the world of social and hi-tech entrepreneurs, “Instagram” and food bloggers, travel journalists and influential women.
 
StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein paid tribute to the Fellows in a video address from the organization's head office in Los Angeles, telling them: "We need you. If you ever want to know how important this work is, speak to any of our Israeli Fellowship Alumni who have been to the US to speak on college campuses and in high schools here. We are building bridges for Israel together." A video message from prominent Israel advocate and human rights activist, Alan Dershowitz, was screened at the event.
 
Students are also actively involved with StandWithUs International programs and become the "human face" behind the headlines as they go out into the world and break hundreds of stereotypes about Israel and Israelis.
 
The elite leadership program in public diplomacy for Israeli students, currently in its 6th year,  runs on 7 different campuses nationwide: The University of Haifa and Technion, The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Sapir College. The Fellowship is the flagship program of StandWithUs, an international, non-profit Israel education organization, that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, on campuses, in libraries, in the media and throughout schools via brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to and from Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources that are distributed globally.
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