Artists 4 Israel, which bills itself as “the security fence against cultural terrorism,” set up shop on College Avenue in New Brunswick, giving passing Rutgers students the chance to promote Israel through a can of spray paint.
Students were invited Oct. 7 to spray graffiti on wood panels that became the walls of Rutgers Hillel’s sukka, as part of the organization’s effort to highlight Israel’s cultural diversity and democratic society.
An ethnically mixed group of more than 300 students displayed their artistic talents, said Hillel director of engagement Greg Yellin. Assisting the students and adding their own creative efforts to the wall were local NJ artists and Craig Dershowitz, director of the New York-based Artists 4 Israel, whose representatives visit dozens of college campuses each year.
“We’re excited to provide an opportunity to engage students in a conversation about Israel,” said Yellin. He added that there were no negative comments added by any student throughout the course of the day, and there were no acts of vandalism or attempts to cover up any drawings during the two-day display.
He said Artists 4 Israel, which was at Rutgers more than two years ago, will be invited back every couple of years. However, the artwork itself will be back next year. “When we set up our sukka next year, we will have a reminder of this exciting day of promoting peace and understanding about Israel,” said Yellin.