Robin Cohen was our Fellow at CUNY Brooklyn during the 2012-2013 academic year. She was a recipient of our David Bar-Illan award this past April. Below is her speech:
I’d like to thank CAMERA for honoring me with the David Bar-Illan Award for Outstanding Student Leadership.
With CAMERA’s help, my campus hosted influential speakers such as Dr Anat Berko, a member of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism team and Noam Bedein, Director of the Sderot Media Center. Additionally, my campus hosted op-ed writing workshops for student Israel advocates so that they can effectively defend Israel in the media, both on and off campus. Without CAMERA‘s support, these events would not have been possible.
On a more personal note, CAMERA experts were always there to review and edit the campus op-eds that I wrote in defense of Israel.
CAMERA was always available when it counted. Last spring, the Political Science department at Brooklyn College and Students for Justice in Palestine co-sponsored a panel discussion featuring anti-Israel extremists Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler. The event promoted the radical and hateful anti-Israel movement BDS – Boycott Divestment and Sanctions.
Many students at Brooklyn College are both knowledgeable and supportive of Israel. But knowledge does not always mean effective communication, and the Israel advocates on campus did not know how to react to the BDS untruths and misrepresentations. Luckily, CAMERA staff enthusiastically offered their guidance and expertise. With CAMERA’s help, the student activists established a coalition called Advocates Representing Israel so that all Israel advocates could unite and take action. Our members confronted the administration about our valid concerns and objections, distributed informative material, and published op-eds that countered BDS.
Following my service as a CAMERA Fellow, I participated in the CAMERA Israel advocacy and leadership training mission trip to Israel. We met with experts who are truly amazing, both in terms of their vast knowledge as well as their real-world experience. Thanks to this incredible experience, I am now an even more confident and capable advocate for the state of Israel.
In short, CAMERA’s financial generosity and round the clock support have deeply impacted my own life and have also shifted the way that the Brooklyn College community views the state of Israel. CAMERA continues to make a deep impact on Brooklyn College through the CCAP group on campus, just as CAMERA makes an impact on dozens of other college campuses with their student groups.
Across North America, students know the truth about Israel because of CAMERA. You make everything possible. For all this, we cannot thank you enough.
By Robin Cohen