Israel Advocacy News April 19, 2012: With new class, University of California Berkley grad furthers her pro-Israel battle

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

With new class, Cal grad furthers her pro-Israel battle

Source: JWeekly, 4-19-12

At her upcoming workshops, co-leader Jessica Felber will stand before Jewish high school students, work herself up into a minor rage and harp about the Zionist entity being an apartheid state.

Not that she believes it.

The longtime pro-Israel advocate simply will be offering the students a taste of what may be in store for them once they get to college and face anti-Israel campus activism.

A 2010 graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Felber remembers what it was like for her and other Jewish students to endure the annual Israel Apartheid Week, when protestors carrying toy assault weapons set up mock checkpoints on campus.

That’s one reason she has helped organize “Step Up for Israel,” a series of three one-day pro-Israel education and advocacy training programs set to take place over the next month. The first is scheduled for Sunday, April 22 at Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland.

Jessica Felber

Jessica Felber

The workshops are co-sponsored by the pro-Israel advocacy organizations StandWithUs and JerusalemOnlineU.com.

After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, Felber moved to Los Angeles last year to become the West Coast director of Jerusalem Online U. This past February, she attended the Young Zionist Leadership Conference, a large gathering held in Florida and sponsored by the World Zionist Congress.

It was through her work with Jerusalem OnlineU, a Jewish education Web portal, that Felber dreamed up the workshop to teach high school students, especially seniors bound for college, how to respond to anti-Israel hate speech.

Each four-hour workshop will split into two tracks, one for the teens and another for their parents (or any other interested adult).

Sessions in each track will include lectures, educational film screenings and hands-on advocacy training taught by StandWithUs Bay Area campus staffers Guy Herschmann and Matthew White, along with prominent local pro-Israel activists Mike Harris and Ealon Joelson. Felber will run the teen portion.

As one teaching technique, workshop leaders will mimic the anti-Israel invective college students hear routinely on campus.

“We’ll show them Occupation 101,” said Felber. “This is so they can hear the arguments from anti-Israel people. The real purpose is to motivate and inspire them to learn more and give them practice before college.”

If Felber’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she was in the news before. In the wake of a 2010 incident during Israel Apartheid Week, Felber filed suit last year against U.C. Berkeley, its president and chancellor, as well as the Associated Students of the University of California.

At the time, she was co-president of the pro-Israel campus group Tikvah, which she co-founded.

Felber alleges that a pro-Palestinian protestor intentionally rammed her with a shopping cart, causing her injury.

The lawsuit has languished in the courts, with the judge dismissing some aspects and asking Felber’s attorneys to amend the complaint. But she says the suit is still in progress, and that she’s already seen results because of her legal action.

“This year at U.C. Berkeley’s Israel Apartheid Week, there were no realistic assault weapons,” she said, “which was not the case for a decade. That had been a huge cause of fear.”

Felber said that although she is suing for monetary damages, her true motivation for the suit is “to get the universities to be aware of what’s going on on campus and try to get them to change it.”

A native of San Diego, Felber grew up attending Jewish day schools, and pro-Israel advocacy was always important to her. Even before attending her first class at Cal, she says she was prepared for pro-Palestinian demonstrations on Sproul Plaza, the heckling of Israeli guest speakers and advocacy for Israel boycotts.

It was that tense and hostile atmosphere on campus that made her want to take up the pro-Israel cause all the more.

“That’s in part what drew me [to U.C. Berkeley],” she said. “I came in fairly confident, and was willing to stand up and defend Israel from the start. But I also know how difficult it is for other people to do that.”

Israel Advocacy Op-ed March 1, 2012: Dore Gold: Now playing on a campus near you Israel Apartheid Week ignorance, lack of regard for facts

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

Now playing on a campus near you: ignorance, lack of regard for facts

Source: JWeekly, 3-1-12

Anti-Israel hatred on campus crests each year during an event called “Israel Apartheid Week.”

With its ominous name and programs that thrive on ignorance and blind disregard for the facts, tens of thousands of college students are urged to rise up against Israel — painfully evoking the types of racist characterizations of the Jewish people that defined attitudes once heard in Europe in the middle of the last century.

This year’s display of anti-Israel fervor is currently occurring on or near campuses around the United States and Europe. In Berkeley, there were two main events this week, and three more next week. Starting Monday, March 5, IAW will also crank up in Canada, the Arab world and South Africa.

These campus initiatives were incubated in 2001 at the first Durban Conference, proclaiming “no apartheid South Africa in the 20th century and no apartheid Israel in the 21st.” This battle cry sparked the BDS movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to punish Israel, and it all evolved into an invective-loaded campaign that found a degree of favor on campuses coast to coast, not to mention among some labor unions, churches, media and cultural institutions.

But it is based on a lie.

Typically, those hurling these charges against Israel hope that their audiences are ignorant of the facts. In apartheid South Africa, blacks were not allowed to use white hospitals, they could not attend white universities and they could not participate in the South African parliament.

Visit Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem today, or any other hospital or health facility in Israel, and see Jewish and Arab doctors caring for Jewish and Arab patients. Witness for yourself at Hebrew University or any institution of higher learning as Jewish and Arab professors teach students of different backgrounds. Go to the Knesset, and observe the debates involving both Jewish and Arab parliamentarians.

Given this reality, Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge on the South African Supreme Court, wrote in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 2011: “The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”…

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter  activities such as Israel Apartheid Week   images/courtesy of jerusalemonlineu.com

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter activities such as Israel Apartheid Week images/courtesy of jerusalemonlineu.com

No nation has fought racism more consistently than the Jewish people, whether through the anti-apartheid activists in the South African Jewish community or through those American Jews who joined the civil rights movement. When Israeli medical teams rushed to international disaster zones in Turkey (1999), Kosovo (1999), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2008) and Haiti (2010), helping the afflicted regardless of their race or creed, they were driven by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam….READ MOR

JerusalemOnlineU.com and Alan Dershowitz Gather Organizations and Individuals Around the World to “Step Up For Israel”

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

JerusalemOnlineU.com and Alan Dershowitz Gather Organizations and Individuals Around the World to “Step Up For Israel”

JerusalemOnlineU.com to Launch an International Step Up For Israel Campaign at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City

Source: Business Wire, 10-3-11

JerusalemOnlineU.com ( http://www.JerusalemOnlineU.com ), a leading online source for Jewish and Israel learning worldwide, announces the launch of “Step Up For Israel,” a national, grassroots Israel education campaign ( http://www.StepUpforIsrael.com ).

The campaign launch will take place on October 3rd at 7pm, at Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 E. 87th St., New York City. It will feature a screening of Crossing the Line, a short film produced by Raphael Shore that exposes the organized movement on North American campuses to delegitimize Israel. Shore will introduce the film, and Professor Alan Dershowitz will speak after the screening. The event is free and open to the public.

Step Up for Israel, chaired by Professor Dershowitz and former Israel Ambassador Dore Gold, is designed to create broad awareness of the growing anti-Israel movements on college campuses and hopes to provide all Jewish high school students with a minimum 4 hours of basic Israel education.

“Anti-Israel propaganda, pressure, and intimidation are the norm in college, not the exception, and it has become vital that parents and their children understand what is occurring and know how to respond effectively before they experience it themselves, as was the case for me and many others,” said Jessica Felber, West Coast Director, JerusalemOnlineU.com.

Amy Holtz, president of JerusalemOnlineU.com, advises, “Many parents don’t realize that their children could be confronted by a one-sided, anti-Israel perspective when they get to college.” While Holtz says that the problem does not exist on all campuses, she believes that “responsible Jewish parents must prepare their kids for what they might see and hear about Israel, just as they prepare them for other challenges they might face on campus.”

Recognizing how crucial it is that American Jews actively confront the movement to delegitimize Israel, leaders from the successful Soviet Jewry movement are actively promoting the campaign. “We have great hopes for this campaign, the film, and for the recognition it can drive home to the public…” said Pam Cohen, Former National President of The Union of Council for Soviet Jews.

The campaign is receiving broad participation. Step Up For Israel is being run by The Greater Miami JCRC; The United Jewish Communities and JCRC of Metro-West; The Albuquerque Federation; the Atlanta community; and synagogues, churches, and organizations across the world.

About JerusalemOnlineU.com

JerusalemOnlineU.com reconnects students to their Jewish identity and teaches the importance of Israel through engaging and stimulating online, film-based courses. They currently offer courses in Judaism, Israel, and Positive Psychology and Judaism. College students may be eligible for college credits or a stipend upon completion of the course. Breaking beyond the bounds of the traditional classroom and embracing the power of technology, JerusalemOnlineU.com has had over 3,000 students on more than 300 college campuses take its courses. JerusalemOnlineU.com is headquartered in New York with offices in Philadelphia and Jerusalem. For more information, visit www.JerusalemOnlineU.com .

SOURCE: JerusalemOnlineU.com