Tag Archives: advocacy

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Lily Greenberg Call

The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders to develop and strengthen their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Lily Greenberg Call.

Greenberg Call Lily fellowBorn and raised in California, Lily Greenberg Call is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley and is studying Political Science.

Lily’s interests in Israel advocacy began in high school. She was elected the president of her high school’s Israel advocacy club, and has been involved with AIPAC since her freshman year of high school.

After high school, she began to cover the events leading up to Operation Protective Edge during the summer of 2014. Lily continued to report throughout the operation as part of Write on For Israel, an Israel journalism and advocacy program. Following that summer, Lily spent a year in Israel on the Young Judea gap year program which incorporates trips around Israel, educational courses, and volunteer work around the country.

With a passion for Israel, Lily now serves on the Board of Bears for Israel, a CAMERA-supported group. This September, she was quoted in the Algemeiner following the discovery of a controversial anti-Israel course called “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” She is excited to be a CAMERA Fellow this coming year and strengthen her abilities to advocate and defend Israel on a campus with such a harsh anti-Israel bias.

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Orly Margulis

The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Orly Margulis.

Margulis Orly fellowOrly Margulis was born and raised in Venezuela. Growing up, she was an active member of the Jewish Community of Caracas, Venezuela where she learned all about Zionism, Jewish history, and Judaism.

Now a rising junior at Drexel University, Orly is studying Public Relations with a double minor in writing and marketing. When she became a Drexel Dragon, Orly yearned to once again be involved in Israel and Jewish activism as she was growing up. She soon joined CAMERA-supported group Dragons for Israel and participated in Chabad and Hillel. Orly volunteered to update Drexel Hillel’s social media pages and helps to organize pro-Israel events. In addition, Orly has written blogs in the Times of Israel about her college experience as a Jew and about the importance of Israel.

In the following quick question-answer session, Orly shares some of her experiences, on and off campus, regarding anti-Semitism and thoughts about this year’s Student Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference:

In Venezuela, did you face anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism? How did you react at the time?

I have never experienced anti-Semitism myself, but my community has faced it a lot. In 2009, some people broke in into one of the synagogues in Caracas, and defaced the entire place. The Torah books were stepped on and left on the floor, swastikas were drawn all over the walls and a lot of documents were stolen. President Chavez was extremely anti-Semitic, and he constantly targeted the Jewish community of Venezuela. More than once he cursed Israel and the Jewish people.

What kind of anti-Semitic and/or anti-Israel issues have you faced on campus?

One time, I met another student at a party and we were just talking while other people were playing some drinking games. He saw my Magen David (Star of David) necklace and immediately called me a “baby killer” and an “effing Jew.” Then, a few months later, one of my friends walked into his room, and saw a swastika painted beside his Israeli flag.

What prompted you to become involved in Israel advocacy?

I grew up going to a Jewish school and being part of the Jewish community of Venezuela, so I was always learning about Israel and the great things that Israel does. For me, being Zionist was never a question, but something innate. I was extremely involved with Jewish memorial ceremonies, Israel activism and the Jewish youth movement in Venezuela. I felt that I needed to continue this path once I started my college career. I also wanted to make my grandmother proud. She was such a Zionist—a pro-Israel activist who spoke about the Holocaust—that I wanted to give her nachas, or joy, in how I follow her example. I know she is looking down at me from heaven and is proud of my Israel advocacy work.

What do you think you gained at the conference? Do you feel more prepared now to respond to anti-Zionism? And if so, how exactly are you more prepared now?

I learned a lot during this conference! I met incredible people who gave me ideas for events and tables on campus. I became part of the greater CAMERA network—it is a support system in which I can request advice from expert Israel advocates on how to reply to an anti-Semitic comment on social media or just talk to when I am having a bad day. I am more prepared to react to anti-Zionism not only because I have a booklet full of strategies and information, but because I can depend on CAMERA’s support system. I am more confident now about how to set up a successful Israel advocacy table on our campus, how to speak up for Israel in front of a big crowd and how to be an advocate without fear.

What surprised you or what did you find particularly interesting at the conference?

The amount of questions anti-Israel activists ask! We had mock sessions in order to practice reacting to questions or statements against Israel. The same ridiculous questions kept coming up. The arguments against Israel are so far from the truth, yet anti-Israel activists hide behind them and refuse to listen to the whole story about Israel. Thankfully, Drexel is a university where that does not often happen so I had never been exposed to these kinds of outrageous questions before.

Most of the attendees at the conference were American-born. What do you think you contributed to the conference from your non-American perspective?

Because I go to college in United States, I don’t consider my non-American perspective as relevant to the conference. I am still a proud Venezuelan, but the strategies and ideas I learned at the conference are geared to help me advocate better at my university in America.

Since I now live in America, I did not feel very different from the mostly American group of advocates at the conference. But, of course, I have a great accent, which makes me a bit different from the American-born students.

As a Venezuelan, do you feel you bring an interesting perspective as an Israel advocate on campus? If so, how does this influence other students?

Venezuela, as many other Latin American countries, faces a lot of anti-Semitism. I went to a Jewish school my whole life, so I never encountered the misfortune of someone screaming anti-Semitic things at me in a school hallway. I feel that rather than bringing a different perspective, I bring my energy and eagerness to do more for Israel.

Do you think there are any Israel or advocacy-related issues that were not covered and discussed at the conference but that are still very important and should be taken note of?

Not really. The CAMERA conference was a great opportunity for me to learn a lot and be part of something bigger. I learned immensely from each session, the CAMERA staff, and my fellow students.

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Joshua Kauderer

The CAMERA Fellowship program supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows, who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

CAMERA Fellow Joshua Kauderer

CAMERA Fellow Joshua Kauderer

Meet Joshua Kauderer.

Currently a Sophomore at Dartmouth College, Joshua is studying History and Government.

As a child, Joshua attended Jewish day school at The Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. There, his passion for Israel began to bloom.

Throughout high school, Josh participated in Write On For Israel, a program that educates high-school students about Israel and effective speaking and advocacy skills. After completing Write On For Israel, Joshua felt like a capable Israel advocate, but understood that advocating for Israel is not a simple task; there is always more to learn about Israel advocacy. Independently, he researched media bias against Israel and studied the correlation between anti-Israel views and anti-Semitism. Just as he did in high school, Joshua tries his best to stay informed about Israel and understand the pro-Israel, anti-Israel dialogue on a higher academic level.

Now at Dartmouth, Joshua serves as an editor of The Dartmouth Review. He participates in the Dartmouth Students for Israel organization and is a founding member of the TAMID campus chapter at Dartmouth, a student program which collaborates with Israeli startup companies.

Joshua looks forward to developing his Israel Advocacy skills this academic year as a CAMERA Fellow. With the support of the CAMERA Fellowship, Joshua is confident he can make a big impact on campus and raise awareness about Israel among the Dartmouth student body. CAMERA on Campus is excited to see the progress Joshua will make!

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Ariel Avgi

The CAMERA Fellowship program supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts on Israel on campus.

professional-photosMeet Ariel Avgi.

A sophomore at The City College of New York, Ariel is studying International Relations and Applied Mathematics. She attends the The Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York.

Growing up in Queens and Long Island, New York, Ariel was raised with a love for Israel and a strong connection to her family’s Israeli roots. Over the years, she has visited Israel on multiple occasions. Ariel’s devotion to Israel and Israel advocacy work is mainly inspired by a sense of moral obligation to help Israel and a desire to express her love for Israel from afar. Since she always enjoys returning to Israel and considers the country her second home, Ariel promotes Israel on campus and tries to spread knowledge about the wonderful, developing democracy of the Middle East as much as she can.

On campus, Ariel serves as an active member of City College’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute. This past year, she wrote and published a policy proposal in its 10 Ideas Journal for Defense and Diplomacy.  Ariel is also a co-founder of the Students Supporting Israel chapter on her campus.

As a CAMERA Fellow, Ariel plans to further develop pro-Israel advocacy and to grow as a student leader and influential voice for Israel. With the support of the CAMERA Fellowship, Ariel now feels fully capable of educating fellow students and faculty on Israeli history and culture. CAMERA on Campus is excited to support Ariel in her endeavors!

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Aviya Zarur

The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, we are introducing our 2016-17 Fellows, who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Aviya Zarur.

Zarur Aviya fellowThis fall is the beginning of Aviya Zarur’s freshman year at Brandeis University. While she grew up in Los Angeles, Aviya was born in Israel and considers it her home.

Whether she is in her hometown of Los Angeles or on campus at Brandeis, Aviya always has Israel in mind. As a CAMERA Fellow, Aviya plans to develop her understanding of Israel’s social, political, and economic status in order to properly and optimally represent Israel on her campus.

Aviya calls CAMERA’s annual Student Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference “an eye opening experience.” She was able to understand how much and how exactly Israel advocacy has influenced people in the past. “The conference highlighted all that we have done to successfully overcome antisemitism and all that there is yet to do,” Aviya remarked. Following the conference, she now also understands the integral role she plays in the future of Israel advocacy.

“I’m excited to have open conversations with my peers and offer the facts [about Israel] to those that will listen,” Aviya says. Likewise, CAMERA on Campus is very excited to see the impact Aviya will have on campus!

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Noa Levin

The CAMERA Fellowship program supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Noa Levin.

Noa Levin, 2016-17 CAMERA Fellow

Noa Levin, 2016-17 CAMERA Fellow

A sophomore student at George Washington University, Noa Levin is studying Psychology and Speech & Hearing Sciences. Noa was able to learn about Israel and develop her advocacy skills in high school through the BlueStar Write On For Israel program. This past year she became very involved with the GW Hillel and is now very excited to be a CAMERA Fellow in order to strengthen her Israel advocacy capabilities and positively influence GW’s student body regarding Israel.

Noa is very grateful to be part of the CAMERA Fellowship and receive all of its support. “The CAMERA Fellowship has given me a network of people to turn to who are well-connected, knowledgeable, and passionate about Israel,” she says.

Noa grew up in America but her family is Israeli. As a proud American and Israeli, she feels her identity allows her an unique understanding of both cultures and their different mentalities. With her American-Israeli perspective and the support of CAMERA on Campus, Noa says she is “much more ready now to take on the challenge of being a pro-Israel voice on campus.” Welcome to the Fellowship, Noa!

My Time at the CAMERA Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference

CAMERA Fellow Lindsey Cohen.

CAMERA Fellow Lindsey Cohen.

This summer, students from all over the world convened in Boston for CAMERA’s Sixth Annual Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference. They came from all over – from New York, Toronto, and California, to the United Kingdom, and Israel.  They came to learn how to defend Israel on campus and how to correct bias in the media, and to meet other CAMERA  Fellows and members of CAMERA-supported Israel groups.

I expected to leave with an understanding of the situation on campus and how students are fighting bias and lies about Israel. I got all of this and more: I left with the power of a network committed to truth and to  defending Israel.  Yes, the information was valuable, but more valuable still were the new connections I made with other students, all with their own perspectives and stories on Israel.

To read the full article, visit The Times of Israel.

Contributed by 2015-2016 CAMERA Fellow at Boston University, Lindsey Cohen.

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Emily Firestone

The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, we are introducing our 2016-17 Fellows, who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Emily Firestone.

Firestone Emily fellowEmily Firestone is a rising freshman at Boston University. She grew up in Florida and attended the Weinbaum Yeshivah High School in Boca Raton. During high school, Emily was involved with AIPAC, the Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit, and Saban Leadership Seminars.

Following high school, Emily spent a gap year in Israel studying at Midreshet Moriah. While in Israel she participated in Jerusalem U’s Core 18 Fellowship, an Israel advocacy training program specifically designed for select gap-year students. Through Core 18, Emily was given the opportunity to deepen her understanding of the Middle East conflict and developed her leadership and advocacy skills.

CAMERA on Campus is excited to see Emily put her knowledge of Israel to the test as she advocates for Israel this coming year on campus. Emily is looking forward to represent Israel at BU and share all the great things she has learned and experienced in Israel.

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Isaac Simon

The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Isaac Simon.

Simon Isaac fellowA rising sophomore, Isaac Simon is studying journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Last year, he worked as a columnist for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. Isaac wrote about varying subject matters, focusing on politics and world events. He is an active board member of the UMass Student Alliance for Israel (SAFI). For SAFI, he works with both the Collegian and other journalistic news outlets regarding how Israel is covered on campus.

Isaac is always ready to take advantage of the opportunities around him, whether it is reading an extra newspaper in order to stay even better informed on current events, or building up the pro-Israel campus scene with the help of CAMERA on Campus.

As a developing journalist, Isaac is grateful for this opportunity. Being a CAMERA Fellow will reinforce and strengthen Isaac’s progress as a truth-seeking journalist as well as an Israel advocate.

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Rebecca Zagorsky

The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders who are seeking to develop and strengthen their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into who the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Rebecca Zagorsky.

Zagorsky Rebecca fellowAs a sophomore at The Ohio State University, Rebecca Zagorsky is studying business and psychology. With a passion for travel, Rebecca loves to see new places and understand different cultural mentalities. Whether she is travelling through Asia or Europe, she always tries to connect with the locals and learn about their values. As an advocate for Israel, Rebecca is able to use her love to connect with all types of people in order to promote Israel across her campus. 

Aside from being a traveler, Rebecca is a hard worker. This summer, she is turning an economic textbook into a series of online videos. New to video-editing, Rebecca is teaching herself to edit the videos on the job and even manages to make economics engaging through her videos. With her developing social media skills and love for all kinds of people, CAMERA on Campus is looking forward to seeing Rebecca develop as a Fellow and a pro-Israel voice on her campus this coming year.  Rebecca is incredibly excited to be a CAMERA Fellow and is ready to learn as much as she can about countering anti-Zionism on her campus.