The CAMERA Fellowship supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year about the begin, we are giving introducing the students who will be working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.
Meet Ben Shachar.
A senior at York University, Ben Shachar is studying biology. He is a recipient of the 2013 Schulich Leader Scholarship, an undergraduate award for Canadian and Israeli undergraduates studying STEM. Ben is dedicated to many causes which promote inclusive and meaningful dialogues among students on his campus as well as on other campuses. As the co-founder of the Random Acts of Kindness Project, he helped to develop a movement that inspires and connects students on over ten campuses to do acts of kindness for one another. In addition, Ben is also a disability advocate, a long-time peer tutor, and a programming enthusiast.
On a campus where a student can be labeled a ”pro-Israel racist,” by merely being involved with the York Hillel, Ben has a strong Jewish identity and is a passionate supporter of Israel. As Ben expresses in one of his Times of Israel blogs, he has no interest in making trouble on campus. “In my three years at York University I have made a conscious effort to avoid any participation in campus politics.” Strictly apolitical but not hesitant when promoting Israel, Ben realized he has a moral obligation to speak out against a concerted campaign to vilify and intimidate Jewish students and institutions on campus. As Ben explains, “Jewish students feel unsafe and marginalized,” but for precisely that reason, he also says that “Jewish students can no longer afford to be as passive as I have been for the past three years.”
A well-spoken individual with a variety of interests, Ben has great potential as an Israel advocate, especially at a Canadian university, where anti-Semitism is prevalent.
Ben is proud to represent Israel on his campus and knows that he can successfully promote Israel with the academic, strategical and even emotional support of the greater CAMERA network. CAMERA on Campus is excited to support Ben through the CAMERA Fellowship and help him as much as possible in his endeavors to promote Israel at York University.