Boston, MA – August 4th, 2023
CAMERA on Campus, the campus wing of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting & Analysis, celebrates the massive success of its thirteenth annual gathering of student leaders in Boston, Massachusetts, which took place from July 28th-30th, 2023.
Students traveled from across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel to attend the conference: three days of intense training, discussion, and community-building with CAMERA’s campus team, research staff, and guest speakers.
“The rise in antisemitism on college campuses is not solely the result of alleged “activism” by detractors; the absence of reliable, fact-based reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict also fuels the disconcerting trend. By equipping the top student leaders on major campuses with essential skills; to research, write, plan events, and debate, we ensure that propaganda on social media, in the classroom, and on the quad will not go unchallenged,” said Hali Spiegel, North American campus director for CAMERA.
(Video above) Sabrina Soffer, 2023-2024 CAMERA Fellow at The George Washington University, reflects on meeting students from around the world at the 2023 CAMERA International Student Leadership Conference.
Sessions at the conference included workshops to debunk anti-Israel propaganda, develop research and writing skills, event planning, and effective approaches for discussion and debate.
“CAMERA empowers Jewish and pro-Israel students to stand for the truth. That’s the way it should be. They understand that true change begins with us,” said Noah Levy, a rising sophomore and 2023-2024 CAMERA fellow at Brandeis University.
Levy is one of three dozen attendees participating in the CAMERA Fellowship, a prestigious initiative where students conduct research, publish articles, and host events to educate their peers about media and academic bias and middle east affairs.
CAMERA Fellows are trained to operate as regional fact-checkers, monitoring their campuses and proactively spreading fact-based reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those interested in the CAMERA Fellowship can learn more about it here.
The conference also emphasized the importance of a global community of proud Zionist leaders. “Israeli college students rarely have the opportunity to learn about the challenges that college students in North America and the United Kingdom face. I also believe the opposite to be true; they know so little about us. I am thankful for CAMERA for imparting in the next generation of leaders and bringing us together.” said Tom Yohay, campus advisor for CAMERA on Campus Israel.
This year’s conference also marked an increased commitment to UK students with new opportunities to access CAMERA’s resources for the upcoming academic year.
“The inclusion of UK CAMERA Fellows in this year’s conference contributed invaluable insight into the challenges they face on campus. We are committed to iterating our programs to better assist pro-Israel students in the UK with their advocacy with increased funding and hands-on training to develop event planning, research, and writing skills,” said Christina Jones, CAMERA UK communications associate.
Rojin-Sena Cantay, a second-year student at the University of Exeter and incoming 2023-2024 CAMERA Fellow, is excited about the opportunity to challenge the anti-Zionist narrative promoted by academics like revisionist historian Ilan Pappe, who teaches at her university. “UK students need to know that much of what they hear, even in the classroom, is propaganda; pro-BDS academics and student groups promote false narratives that dehumanize and vilify Israelis and Jews.”
Also in attendance were representatives from independent student organizations from campuses across the country participating in the CAMERA on Campus Coalition program. Groups that belong to the coalition receive exclusive access to CAMERA’s team of experts and funding to host Israel-related programming on their respective campuses.
Yonatan Manor, a junior at Boston University and 2022-2023 CAMERA Fellow who also leads BU Students for Israel, the independent student group on his campus, encouraged conference attendees to take full advantage of the program. “From charismatic speakers, no-nonsense infographics to branded merchandise, CAMERA made it possible for us to reach more students than we ever thought possible.”
The CAMERA on Campus team is grateful for the privilege of empowering the next generation of leaders in the fight against antisemitism and academic bias.
Are you interested in joining the battle for ethical journalism? College students, alums, and community members are invited to contribute to the CAMERA on Campus blog. Visit opensubmissions.camera for details.
Founded in 1982, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is a media monitoring, research, and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. CAMERA fosters rigorous reporting while educating news consumers about Middle East issues and the role of the media. Because public opinion ultimately shapes public policy, distorted news coverage that misleads the public can harm sound policymaking. A non-partisan organization, CAMERA takes no position regarding American or Israeli political issues or ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Managing Editor, CAMERA on Campus