Israel groups from eight campuses have recently become CAMERA-supported groups through the EMET for Israel program. CAMERA now works with over 80 campuses through the EMET for Israel and CAMERA Fellowship programs.
1. Dartmouth Students for Israel (Dartmouth College)
While Dartmouth Students for Israel (DSI) became a CAMERA-supported group this fall, we’ve been working with and providing support to students there since last year. During the 2016-17 school year, Dartmouth CAMERA Fellow Josh Kauderer worked hard on a variety of issues, including exposing a BDS-supporting member of faculty, Bruce Duthu, in May. After Kauderer and DSI wrote an open letter, Duthu resigned.
Shortly after Duthu’s resignation, Linda Sarsour was scheduled to speak at Dartmouth. CAMERA quickly helped prepare Kauderer and DSI with talking points and questions for Sarsour, who is a highly controversial activist. During a Q&A period at Sarsour’s event, DSI filmed member Zack Port as he took her to task over her a hypocritical statement she had made about activist Ayan Hirsi Ali. Sarsour was unable to answer the question, and lied, attempting to deny she had ever made such a statement. We are very happy that this year Zack is the CAMERA Fellow at Dartmouth.
It isn’t easy for students at Dartmouth to put on Israel events on campus. “The students get a lot of push back from academic departments on campus when they want to hold events,” tells Campus Coordinator Ben Suster. “As the only organization working with Zionist students at Dartmouth this year, we’re working to bring more speakers to the campus,” he says. On November 6th, DSI is bringing Israeli photojournalist Gil Cohen Magen to Dartmouth in an event sponsored by CAMERA.
2. Clarkies for Israel (Clark University)
Clark University is known for being an unpleasant campus for Zionist students. There are issues with SJP and JStreet. In 2016, Clark CAMERA Fellow Patrick Fox appealed to his students in an Op-Ed titled “Where is the Outcry?” where he called out his peers for acknowledging terror victims in Paris with a candlelight vigil, while ignoring terror victims in Israel. Former member of Clarkies for Israel and Clark alumna Lilia Gaufberg also made reference to the difficult times she experienced as a Zionist student at Clark in a blog entry called “Tough Love“.
CAMERA is the only Zionist organization at Clark University helping students who want to celebrate and educate about Israel. Starting off with an all new board, Clarkies for Israel is looking forward to bringing more to the conversation about Israel to campus, and we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.
3. Tufts Friends of Israel (Tufts University)
Last month, students at Tufts University distributed a “Disorientation Guide” for incoming freshmen which accused Israel of “white supremacy” and promoted “Israeli Apartheid Week”, and accosted Jewish groups at Tufts who had sponsored a talk by the parents of Trayvon Martin (an African-American teenager shot and killed in Floriday in 2012) for “exploiting black voices for their own pro-Israel agenda.” Last year, BDS passed in vote that was announced 48 hours in advance on Passover eve.
This is just a taste of the atmosphere on the Tufts campus for Jewish and Zionist students.
Tufts Friends of Israel plans to hold events that take a proactive and unapologetic stance on supporting and celebrating Israel. Meanwhile Ben Shapiro, Co-Director of Advocacy of Tufts FOI, will respond to inaccuracies about Israel on campus and proactively spread the truth about Israel through the Op-Ed writing he does as the Tufts CAMERA Fellow.
On October 22nd, Tufts FOI will be hosting Noam Bedein, renowned Israeli photojournalist and environmental activist who will present to students at Tufts about his Dead Sea story using photography art.
4. Harvard Israel Initiative (Harvard College)
As the only Israel group on Harvard’s campus, CAMERA-supported group Harvard Israel Initiative has lots of room to grow. The Initiative is a recently formed group, and will play a critical role in shaping dialogue around Israel at other universities in the area.
“Harvard educates many students who will have the privilege of being leaders in our common future. If we want those future leaders to understand and be able to support a pro-Israel future, then a positive Israel presence is essential at Harvard,” says Harvard CAMERA Fellow and member of the Initiative, Ilan Goldberg.
Anti-Israel groups, including the Harvard College Palestinian Solidarity Committee, are present on campus, and Harvard Israel Initiative’s role in countering this year’s “Israeli Apartheid Week” will be critical.
5. Smith Israel Alliance (Smith College)
After all of the Smith Israel Alliance‘s executive board graduated, there was no one left to continue the group’s presence as a source of Israel education on the campus. But luckily, a group of students has come together, including Kalila Courban, who has assumed the role of President of the group.
The campus is known for being difficult for Zionist students, and Smith Israel Alliance has plans to hold events and provide Israel education on campus in a way that will reach the students there the most effectively.
On November 13th, Israeli photojournalist Gil Cohen-Magen, brought to Smith’s campus by CAMERA, will speak to students about Israeli society and coexistence.
6. Bobcats for Israel (Ohio University)
At Ohio University, there isn’t an anti-Israel student following to speak of. The biggest challenge for Bobcats for Israel will be fighting apathy, and this CAMERA-supported group plans to address it through a series of proactive initiatives, including tabling and educational events designed to pique students’ interest in Israel.
On November 8th, the group will be hosting Gil Cohen Magen, and has many other exciting events planned for the future. We’re looking forward to working the students at Ohio U to ensure the campus becomes more actively engaged.
7. Matadors for Israel (California State University, Northridge)
Similarly to Ohio University, the biggest challenge at Cal State Northridge will be fighting student apathy towards Israel.
On October 16th, Matadors for Israel held a free lunch event for the group to talk to students about their programming and recruit more board members. The group plans to use a proactive approach and to educate their peers in order to promote a more thorough understanding of the Jewish state.
8. Scarlet Knights for Israel (Rutgers University New Brunswick)
Rutgers has a significant Jewish population, but little Israel-related events or activities. But now CAMERA Fellow Miriam Waghalter has stepped in, and things are about to change. Waghalter reinvigorated Scarlet Knights for Israel, which had become unknown on campus, and is now making the group known to students.
The group is in a great position to do amazing things on campus, and the absence of anti-Israel activity gives Scarlet Knights for Israel lots of room to focus on fostering a strong Zionist and Jewish student community. “They simply have to meet the demand,” says Campus Coordinator Ben Suster. “There is an amazing Hillel on campus with a big following, and Scarlet Knights for Israel can promote their own events to this group of students.”