BOMAH, the Brand of Milk and Honey organization visited UC Irvine to help the Jewish students learn how to better advocate for Israel through social media.  Students from various Jewish organizations on campus including the Jewish fraternities came to the event, some with low expectations, but left with new skills and motivation to better involve the community in pro-Israel advocacy.  BOMAH specializes in branding and storytelling especially regarding Israel.  They teach the necessary social media skills to attain the greatest response from students.  Even though most youths are very adept at using social media, they don’t have the specific skills to reach their target audiences.

Campus coordinators Samantha Mandeles and Gilad Skolnick meet with Daniel Narvy and other members of Anteaters for Israel.
Campus coordinators Samantha Mandeles and Gilad Skolnick meet with Daniel Narvy and other members of Anteaters for Israel.

Itzik Yarkoni, founder and executive director of BOMAH, led and taught these students invaluable tips about how to improve Israel’s image especially in the face of many anti-Israel campaigns on campuses.  While living in a Moshav near Sderot, Yarkoni joined the Sderot Media Center working as the Director of Marketing and New Media. There Yarkoni helped to raise awareness about the horrors in Sderot. Because the media continually publishes biased and false stories about the situation, Yarkoni found that the only way to combat this negative press is to have people tell their first-hand accounts. Yarkoni discovered that this is the most effective way to change the conversation for the better.

Yarkoni came to UC Irvine to teach the Jewish students about the power of their stories and personal experiences.  He taught them the necessary skills to tell their stories and to change the conversation through storytelling.

The response to the event was overwhelmingly positive.  Students left feeling empowered and directly put their new media talents to work and have already experienced success.  CAMERA Fellow and AFI President Daniel remarked, “I didn’t think there was too much to learn about social media, but Itzik proved me very wrong. Itzik showed us how to wield the power of social media to an exponentially higher power in ways that I never would have thought of. At the same time, it was very enjoyable, thanks to Itzik’s great sense of humor and interactive teaching method. If you need help marketing yourself or your organization, I couldn’t recommend Itzik more!” Others say they look forward to sharing more success stories about defeating anti-Israel weeks as well as maximizing pro Israel weeks.

These on campus tactics may be the key to major developments on even the most anti-Israel campuses.  BOMAH and Itzik Yarkoni have given these students life skills and have given them the power to change the way Israel is viewed on college campuses all over the country.

Contributed by CAMERA intern Sabrina Fried.

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