Israel on Campus Coalition

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The Israel on Campus Coalition is a Washington-based 'information-sharing and planning agency for more than 20 Jewish organizations on campus'.

It was 'put together by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, which is funding several student programs and has invested a quarter of a million dollars to fund this project.' It hired Wayne Firestone, former director of the Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League, as its director and 'pro-Israel professionals from the elite consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, offered pro-bono services'.

They decided that the coalition's primary goal should be to 'take back the campus' by influencing public opinion through lectures, the internet and coalitions.[1]

History

According to Scott Sherman, writing in The Nation:

In March 2002 a network of national Jewish organizations met to evaluate what they saw as an alarming rise in anti-Israel activity on campus. From those meetings emerged the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), which is a partnership of Hillel and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. (The three organizations share a building in Washington.)[2]

Projects

The David Project

The David Project is, in its own words:

The David Project positively shapes campus opinion on Israel by educating, training, and empowering student leaders to be thoughtful, strategic and persuasive advocates. Since The David Project began in 2002, it has grown to embody excellence and innovation in the field of pro-Israel advocacy on campus. Each year we educate and prepare college students to assume leadership roles and support their efforts to deliver Israel programs and events to thousands of students on their campuses. Our ground-breaking Israel education curricula are taught in more than 130 Jewish high schools and middle schools, laying a foundation for pro-Israel attitudes and advocacy in college and beyond.[3]

Scott Sherman notes:

The ICC's website lists a number of "regional ICCs" that receive "strategic advice and guidance" from the Washington headquarters. The regional ICC representative in New York is none other than Rachel Fish, the director of the David Project's New York office.[4]

Israel Campus Beat

In 2003 the Israel on Campus Coalition partnered with the powerful Israel lobby coalition group the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to create Israel Campus Beat, which monitors and publishes news about campus activities around Israel in North American colleges and universities. It says it aims ' to provide updated news and information for pro-Israel students, professionals who support them on campus and stakeholders across the broader community.' [5]Its editor-in-chief is former Jerusalem Post editor Carl Shrag and articles are written by freelance student reporter interns.[6]

In Search of Israel Studies

In 2007 the ICC carried out a 'survey of Israel studies on American college campuses' and published a report called 'In Search of Israel Studies'. It argued that there was a dearth of opportunities for American students to study the 'multifaceted' nature of Israel which was too often taught about 'solely through the lens of the Arab-Israeli conflict' by Middle East studies centers. The research was intended to 'help bring about a sea change in the number of Israel studies courses, departments, and scholars at U.S. colleges and universities' and to help 'make Israel studies a normative part of the American academic experience.'[7]

Funding

Sherman reports that the ICC received a $1,050,000 grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation[8]

Affiliations

In 2007, member organisations reportedly included:

Aish HaTorha | Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity | AIPAC | ADL | American Jewish Committee | American Jewish Congress | Americans for Peace Now | American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise | ADL | Blue Star PR* | CAMERA | Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation | Conference of Presidents | The David Project* | Hamagshimim: The University Zionist Movement | Hillel | Israel Program Center | The Israel Project* | Israel University Consortium | Jewish Council for Public Affairs | JNF | KESHER/Union for Reform Judaism | KOACH/United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism | Media Watch International | StandWithUs | Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America | Union of Progressive Zionists* | United Jewish Communities | USD Hagshama of the World Zionist Organization | Yavneh Olami | Zionist Organization of America (star indicates 'affiliate member') [9]

Publications

Resources

References

  1. Rachel Pomerance, Helping pro-Israel campus efforts, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, accessed 19 July 2012
  2. Scott Sherman, The Mideast Comes to Columbia, The Nation, accessed 19 July 2012
  3. About Us - Our Mission, The David Project, accessed 19 July 2012
  4. Scott Sherman, The Mideast Comes to Columbia, The Nation, accessed 19 July 2012
  5. About, Israel Campus Beat, accessed 3 July 2012
  6. Who We Are, Israel Campus Beat, accessed 15 July 2012
  7. In Search of Israel Studies Israel on Campus Coalition, accessed 9 October 2013
  8. Scott Sherman, The Mideast Comes to Columbia, The Nation, accessed 19 July 2012
  9. In Search of Israel Studies, Israel on Campus Coalition, accessed 9 October 2013, p.99.