Campus Leaders Gain Firsthand Experience on Mission to Israel
New York, NY, December 28, 2007 … Campus leaders from colleges and universities across the United States are currently in Israel, where they will be given an opportunity to witness the current situation facing Israelis and Palestinians and get a close-up look at the issues as the peace process launched in Annapolis begins to unfold.
The students are traveling on two annual missions, taking place concurrently this year, that serve as a cornerstone of the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) efforts to raise awareness of the issues involving Israel and the Middle East on U.S. college campuses.
"These smart, informed young college leaders will have an opportunity to visit key sites in Israel's history and to hear firsthand from a wide variety of experts on the current situation and the peace process launched in Annapolis," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This is a momentous time for the students to see and begin to understand for themselves the stakes involved and the current obstacles to peace from newsmakers, Israeli and Arab leaders, and many others with a vested interest in the process."
The two missions, which departed this week and return to the U.S. on January 6, involve campus leaders selected from among dozens of applicants across the country:
• The 15th annual ADL Campus Editors Mission to Poland and Israel offers leaders of student newspapers an opportunity to travel first to Poland, where they visit Nazi concentration camps and learn about the Jewish experience in Europe; then to Israel, where they learn more about the history of Israel, the modern Jewish state, and the issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In Israel, the campus editors will have an opportunity to tour extensively and engage in a series of briefings with a broad spectrum of voices from Israeli and Arab perspectives. They will meet with working journalists, Israeli government officials, Palestinian representatives and university students, among others.
The students represent 10 schools: University of Georgia, Duke University, Bates College, Harvard College, Rutgers University, University of New Mexico, Ithaca College, Fordham University, Riverside City College and the University of Pittsburgh.
The mission is funded by generous grants from Vivian and Edward Merrin, Laurie Tisch and the Laurie M. Tisch Foundation, and Bidi Finkelstein, in memory of her late husband, Albert.
• The 2nd Annual ADL Current and Future Leaders Study Mission to Israel is designed for campus leaders who are involved in a leadership role in campus and plan a future career in politics, political activism or community leadership. Funded by a generous grant from the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, the mission is designed to give student leaders an opportunity to learn about the history of the Jewish people, the State of Israel as a modern democracy, and to get a firsthand perspective on newsmaking events in Palestinian-Israeli relations by traveling to religious and historic sites and meeting with decision-makers. While in Israel, the campus leaders will meet with Israeli government officials, Palestinian representatives, university students and working journalists, among others.
The students selected for the mission are all active in student governance on their campuses and plan for a career in politics or public service once they complete their education.
The students represent 13 schools: University of California – San Diego, University of Texas – Austin, Emory University, Princeton University, University of New Mexico, Marquette University, Loyola Marymount University, Howard University, University of Colorado, Bates College, University of Rochester, Ohio University, The College of New Jersey.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.