Israel Advocacy News December 1, 2011: Bar-Ilan University rep promotes Israel program at Canadian High Schools

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

Bar-Ilan rep promotes Israel program

Source: CJNews, 12-1-11

Meir Balofsky was in Toronto last month to promote Bar-Ilan University’s Israel Experience program

Meir Balofsky, the director of informal education at Bar-Ilan University, was in Toronto last week to convince graduating high school students of the value of learning and living abroad.

Balofsky, who visited students at the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto and Ulpanat Orot Day School, was promoting Bar-Ilan’s Israel Experience program.

“I think what people should do is recognize the value of taking a gap year after high school for themselves,” Balofsky said.

Although a gap year is traditionally thought of as a year away from traditional schooling – a chance for young people to work, travel and gain real-life experience – this program combines the benefits of an exchange program with an opportunity to live and work in a society so different from their own.

He said students who were raised in Jewish schools, were members of synagogues and youth groups and have “learned about Israel either from the Tanach or the news, should take a year and be in Israel, hands on, and experience it, and solidify everything you’ve learned.

“This program was born out of this idea that even kids who understood the value of going to Israel for a year weren’t going because they had no interest in spending the whole year in a yeshiva seminary,” Balofsky said….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News November 24, 2011: York University ‘may tie with Hebrew University’

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

York ‘may tie with Hebrew University’

Source: The Jewish Chronicle, 11-24-11

Students at York University will vote next week on whether to link up with Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

A referendum was initiated by politics student Jacob Campbell, who said he wanted to stand up for Israel and curb anti-Israel and antisemitic activity on British campuses.

If students vote in favour, York University Students’ Union (YUSU) will “work to build links with students at the Hebrew University” and will encourage York University itself to twin with the Israeli institution.

Mr Campbell said he decided to launch the twinning initiative earlier this year when the National Union of Students adopted a number of anti-Israel policies, since dropped. Last year a window in his student house was smashed after he displayed an Israeli flag.

Mr Campbell, who is not Jewish, also cited fellow students’ negative responses to the resignation of Lawrence Binitie, YUSU racial equality officer, who quit following an argument with a local councillor.

Mr Binitie was discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Jewish York City Council member David Levene when he told Mr Levene: “I would be ashamed if I were from Israel, or even Jewish”. He later added that he believed Israel’s “atrocities… are as severe as apartheid South Africa”.

The possible twinning will be debated at YUSU on Tuesday, with voting running from the following day until December 5.