Contributed by CAMERA intern Lilia Gaufberg
On February 18th, Gauchos for Israel (GUFI), the EMET for Israel group at the University of California, Santa Barbara, hosted Noam Bedein at the UCSB Hillel. Noam is a photojournalist and the founder and director of the Sderot Media Center. At this event, Noam spoke about the harsh existence that the residents of Southern Israel face. In addition to lecturing, Noam also presented visuals, such as PowerPoints and videos of rocket attacks, in order to illustrate the experiences of Southern Israel’s residents.
The goal of this event was to bring awareness to the difficulties of living in the rocket reality of Southern Israel and the hardship that these Israelis experience daily. The event also aimed to draw comparisons between the lives of students in the United States and the lives of the people living within the target area of Qassam rocket attacks. This event was publicized through social media outlets, mass texts, tabling, and word-of-mouth.
The overall feedback of the event was positive, and many of the attendees were captivated and intrigued by the discussion. Questions were asked by audience members about Noam’s personal experiences in Israel and how he has learned to cope with the hardships of the region. His responses were informative and to the point. The most effective aspect of the event was the video that Noam showed of school-aged children in Sderot running to shelter during a rocket attack.
Overall, the program was well-planned and executed. People who attended the event were added to GUFI’s mailing list, and will receive information about future events via email and Facebook!