Help is on the way

June 25, 2015 Agencies
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Meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven cabinet ministers in Jerusalem, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky announced that The Jewish Agency will increase the number of Israel Fellows dispatched to college campuses abroad by more than 30% in order to help combat rising efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel.

Natan Sharansky   Photo: Henry Benjamin

Natan Sharansky            Photo: Henry Benjamin

The announcement took place during a meeting between Jewish Agency leaders and Israel’s leadership as part of the Coordinating Committee of the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency, convened during The Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors’ summer meetings.

85 Israel Fellows will be sent to 170 university campuses across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and—for the first time—South Africa and Germany, up from 65 on 120 campuses this past academic year. The 31% increase in the number of Israel Fellows and the 42% increase in campus coverage represent the program’s largest expansion since it was created in 2003.

“Our goal is to thwart those who seek to confuse young Jews and draw them away from Israel,” said Sharansky. “Our Israel Fellows are doing an outstanding job of bringing young Jews to experience Israel, encouraging them to become involved in advocacy for Israel, and inspiring them to feel deeply attached to Israel.”

Israel Fellows are young Israeli college graduates sent abroad by The Jewish Agency to work as part of local campus Hillel staffs, helping connect Jewish students to their Jewish identities and to Israel and supporting Israel-related activities on campus. The Israel Fellows spend a year or more in their campus postings, after receiving extensive training in Jerusalem.

The Jewish Agency will dispatch a total of 1,600 shlichim (emissaries) over the course of the summer, including some 1,200 camp counselors sent to Jewish summer camps in North America and 400 long-term shlichim sent to Jewish communities around the world in order to strengthen the communities’ connections to Israel and Jewish life and present them with opportunities to experience life in Israel on a variety of Jewish Agency programs.

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