Early last November Shiri West, the Jewish Emissary of Tulsa, spoke for the United for Israel club at Oral Roberts University. Having lived in Israel and represented Israel for many years, she delivered a unique perspective about Israel to the ORU community. Some of the topics Shiri covered included Jewish life, the difference between diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews, how Shabbat is observed in Israel, how it relates to the Diaspora and non-Jewish community, and how everyone can advocate for Israel.

Shiri West.

The discussion between the participants and Shiri served as a tool to effectively increase awareness of the Jewish community in Tulsa, and how it relates to supporting Israel in a tangible way. The goals of the event were to foster the establishment of a heartfelt, emotional, and personal connection to the Jewish community and Israel by hosting a Jewish woman who is currently an active member of the ORU community as well.

Many of the students in the club wanted to learn more about Judaism and Israeli culture, and hearing Shiri speak achieved this. Students who attended felt comfortable asking her questions regarding all of her experiences as the Jewish Emissary of Tulsa and as someone who grew up in the Jewish state.

Another exciting aspect was that Shiri asked the students questions about their cooperation and work with CAMERA. She was thankful for CAMERA’s support in helping to build United for Israel.  Towards the end of the speaking engagement, Shiri announced, “There is much more to learn about these topics, but my time is up!” Immediately after one of the students pleaded her to stay, “We want to learn more from you,” the student said. It was clear that the dynamic between Shiri and the students was positive and effective. Some are even coordinating a visit to her office to find out more ways to get involved!

With contributions by Bar Ilan University CAMERA Intern Jasmine Esulin.

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