Contributed by CAMERA intern Eli Cohn:
On February 21, CAMERA Fellow Danielle Haberer of the University of South Florida hosted I Love Israel, which featured Noam Bedein, the director of the Sderot Media Center. Noam is a photojournalist, and educates government officials, press, and students all over the world. The event attracted about 35 students for Mr. Bedein’s presentation on life in Sderot. During, as well as when answering student questions, Mr. Bedein stressed the importance of educating and correcting misconceptions that some people may have about Israel and the conflict in general. After his presentation, students were able to “visit” different cities in Israel and learn about opportunities there, while enjoying pita, chummus, and schnitzel.
In Haifa, students learned about study abroad opportunities, while other students in Tel Aviv learned about gay pride and innovative technology in Israel. Jerusalem provided them with the opportunity to put notes into the Western Wall and in the Negev, students enjoyed tea in a Bedouin tent. I Love Israel successfully combined education about politics and conflict in the region while at the same time educating students about cultural and educational opportunities in Israel.
I Love Israel attracted representatives from College Democrats, College Republicans, the NAACP, NORML, PRIDE, and student government leaders. In addition, because the event took place outside, in a highly trafficked area, students who either didn’t know about the event, or hadn’t heard about it came and participated in it.