Thank you for your substantive coverage of the program for high school students on advocating for Israel on college campus in your article “Workshop helps area teens ‘Stand Up for Israel’” (May 26).
This workshop was conceived by the Community Relations Committee of MetroWest and the Anti-Defamation League of NJ in 2009 and was funded by a local program grant of the CRC. As many of your readers know, the issue of preparing high school students to handle anti-Israel bias on college campuses is a great concern to the Jewish community.
The CRC of MetroWest — the public policy and advocacy arm of UJC — wants to make sure that all of our MetroWest high school students are prepared for college and to be effective pro-Israel advocates and leaders. To this end, we worked with ADL, which developed the methodology of the program; engaged our teen faculty advisers in MetroWest, including The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life, Israel Program Center, and the JCC; and built relationships with the Israel advocacy groups that work with students on college campuses.
For two years, we have all collaborated on this seminar designed to help high school juniors and seniors respond to anti-Israel rhetoric on campus. Using scenarios and case studies “ripped from the headlines,” participants learn responses to anti-Israel tactics and become acquainted with techniques of how to become an effective advocate. We now have a strong team of people in MetroWest who are committed to working with teens in our community to be ready to tackle difficult situations in their respective colleges.
And, as a collective, we are planning to do more. We hope to continue to offer this workshop as a regular part of our teen programming while at the same time we are planning to bring into MetroWest a year-long program for those teens who really want to hone in their pro-Israel advocacy skills. Stay tuned.
Melanie Roth Gorelick
Community Relations Committee of MetroWest