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Alabama State University
John Wright is a Sophomore Finance Major at The Alabama State University. He was first introduced to CAMERA and the pro-Israel movement through his mentor and predecessor, Rita Usher. As a pro-Israel activist, he has attended and assisted with several pro-Israel events on his campus and has travelled to Washington D.C. several times to participate in pro-Israel conferences and seminars. He has also been involved with lobbying his members of Congress to vote for measures to continue foreign aid to Israel and to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
- The Truth Behind Anti-Semitism (The Algemeiner)
Andrew Wallin was born in Chicago but grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is currently attending American University in Washington, D.C., in pursuit of a Bachelors in International Relations with minors in French and Arabic. He has identified strongly with Israel since he was in high school and plans on making Aliyah. He chose to become an advocate for Israel because of how unfairly Israel is portrayed, especially on university campuses.
- Terrorist or Militant? Washington Post Update (CAMERA)
- USA Today Editorials on Israel Fail Reality Check (Snapshots)
- Faulty Education System to Blame for Unrest in Middle East (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus)
Arizona State University
Samantha Weinberg is a senior majoring in Business Sustainability and is earning a Jewish Studies Certificate and an International Business Certificate at Arizona State University. She is active in Hillel and Jewish Arizonans on Campus and is serving as Vice President of Finance of ASU’s pro-Israel club, Sun Devils for Israel. Her love for Israel was kindled the first time she visited Israel in May 2011 on Birthright. Birthright inspired her to spend last fall studying abroad at Ben-Gurion University in Be’ersheba, Israel. While she was there, Sam observed Israel’s unique culture and met many amazing people. She is excited to share her love for Israel with others by being a CAMERA Fellow.
Michelle Soicher is second-year Theatre student at Concordia University. Originally from Toronto, Michelle attended Earl Haig Secondary School and was a Claude Watson Drama Major. She is honored to be a CAMERA fellow and looks forward to using her theatre training to stage some fantastic educational events on the Concordia Campus. She is also a member of Concordia Students for Israel and a supporter of Concordia Association of Students in Theatre (CAST).
Michelle became an Israel activist when she traveled to Poland and Israel in 2011 with The March of the Living. On that trip, she walked through the history of the Jewish people of Eastern Europe and the future of the Jewish people in Israel. She swore that she would do everything in her power make sure the tragedy of the Holocaust never happens again. She feels it is a duty as a descendant of the people of Israel to speak up for Israel. Michelle wants to tell the true story of the Middle East and help everyone on Concordia’s campus understand and get involved in these issues.
“It was a pleasure working with Michelle. She is fabulous! Her heart and soul is in this work and combined with her dynamic personality and intelligence, she is able to make a great contribution to the mission and goals of CAMERA.” —–
- The Little Activist That Could (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus)
- A Return to Bias (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus)
- Queer Concordia Bows to Anti-Israel Pressure (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus,The Concordian)
- A Manipulative Campaign (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus, The Link)
Ben Horowitz is from northeast New Jersey and is an incoming Junior at Cornell University. He is very involved in Jewish religious life and pro-Israel activity on campus, serving as Chair of Political Affairs for Cornell’s pro-Israel student organization. He enjoys reading different news outlets to keep up with current events, really likes reading Israeli history books, and is a big sports fan (Giants, Devils, and Mets).
Ben’s love of Israel stems from his commitment to Judaism and his understanding that one of Judaism’s foundations is an orientation towards Israel. But, in addition to religious significance, Israel has incredible practical necessity, serving as a refuge from the constant threat of anti-Semitism that Jews have faced throughout the ages.
His favorite thing about Israel is that he really loves how it accepts its diverse Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, giving everyone equal rights and allowing all different communities to succeed in their own way. Just as it contains a multitude of climates and scenes of natural beauty, its society includes diverse individuals able to flourish in unique ways. Despite this diversity, the common sense of purpose and resolve held by the people of Israel is something Ben really admires.
- Keeping Pressure on Iran (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus, The Cornell Review)
- Knesset Simulation (Israel is Gorges)
- In Opposition to the Boycott (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus)
Alisa Rudy is a junior in the Baruch College Honors Program. She is the current President of Youth Organization For Israel, Baruch’s student pro-Israel club. A Middle Eastern Studies major and Modern Languages minor, Alisa takes great interest in and care for Israel, from a personal as well as an academic perspective. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Alisa’s favorite place in Israel is the Old City of Jerusalem. The city serves as an example to the capacities and abilities of Israel to be a place of historical and religious significance, a wonder of the world, and a thriving city that renews itself with self-sufficiency and incredible progress in all areas: technological, economic, and otherwise, while maintaining its Jewish integrity.
- Welcome Back Gilad Shalit (The Ticker)
- Palestine is the Missing Partner for Peace (InFocus, The Ticker)
- A Tough Legacy for a Tougher Man (InFocus, The Ticker)
Josh Dienstman is a junior at Drexel University studying biomedical engineering. He currently lives on campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Josh is the education and politics chair for Drexel’s pro-Israel student group, Dragons for Israel. He plans on studying abroad in Israel next year and joining the nation’s incredible progress in the field of medical technology. Josh hopes to use the great experiences he had while visiting his friends and family in Israel on Taglit and Sar-El to promote Israel’s peaceful nature on campus. Josh is a brother of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and is a volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a huge fan of Philly sports, as well as of the TV shows Suits and Doctor Who. He also loves coffee and running, and cannot go through a day without both of them.
- Israel’s Security Key to a Stable Middle East (The Triangle)
Florida Atlantic University
Abraham Mercado was born in Mexico City and moved to Plantation, Fl at the age of 9 with his family. He became aware of terrorism at an early age when one of his best friends, Daniel Wultz, was severely injured by a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv in April of 2006, passing away 28 days later. Abraham received a full scholarship to play football as a kicker at Morgan State University coming out of Western High School in 2009 and became the only Jew on campus out of 8000 students. He played for 3 years and then decided to transfer to Florida Atlantic University in the Spring of 2012. Upon arriving, Abraham immediately noticed the anti-Israel movement on campus and decided to get more involved in Hillel and Owls for Israel, Florida Atlantic Universty’s pro-Israel group. He then became the Israel Engagement Intern for Hillel, the Marketing Director for Owls for Israel, and a member of AEPi. Abraham co-won the Darin Diner Scholarship Award of Hillel for his dedication to the Israel cause. Currently, he holds the position of Vice President of Programming for Owls for Israel. Abraham is pursuing a double major in Film and Jewish Studies and a minor in History.
Abraham’s favorite part about Israel is the religious freedom it offers. Situated in the middle of a world of intolerance, Israel has always been a place for freedom of worship for any individual. It recognizes 15 different religions, which speaks volumes. Abraham chose to become an activist because he cannot allow people to continue to spread lies about the country, land, and people that he loves. The best way to combat these lies is by spreading the truth. It’s up to each person to make a difference.
- Letter to the Editor: “In Response to Nadine Aly” (InFocus, University Press)
George Mason University
Ian Campbell will be a sophomore studying economics at George Mason University this fall. Born in Vermont, Ian has a passion for politics in the state, working as the state field coordinator for the Vermont Republican Party over the summer. While in high school, Ian played soccer and baseball, taught basketball, and was a member of the environmental club, National Honor Society, and Boy Scouts, eventually achieving the rank of Eagle in 2012. At Mason, Ian is a cadet in the Army ROTC program, with plans to serve after graduation. He is also a brother of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a member of the club baseball team at Mason. This summer, Ian was a campus delegate to AIPAC’s Saban Leadership Seminar. As a student activist, Ian is excited to represent CAMERA and ready to respond to Middle East inaccuracies on campus.
Ian chose to become an activist because he realized that Mason was very vulnerable to accepting inaccurate stories about the Middle East as truths. He recognizes the importance of protecting Israel’s status as a sovereign nation and understands the potential that activism and a presence on campus has for students that are open to hearing facts about the Middle East.
- The Politics of a Humanitarian Fundraiser (InFocus, The Algemeiner)
Ohio State University
Madelyn Grant is very excited to be a part of the CAMERA organization as a new fellow! She was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and now attends Ohio State University, majoring in public-affairs journalism and minoring in political science. Israel holds a very special place in her heart and she dedicates a lot of time to learn about, enjoy and share everything it has to offer. Madelyn has been to Israel twice and looks forward to many more experiences there. She comes from a family in which Judaism and tradition play an important role. She plans to follow in her father’s footsteps and attend law school after she graduates. Madelyn’s favorite place in Israel is the Golan Heights.
- UN Needs to Crack Down on Syrian Chemical Weapon Use (InFocus, The Lantern)
Ilan Bajarlia is an enthusiastic Uruguayan-“globalist” International Relations student at ORT Uruguay. Having lived an entire year in Israel and a whole semester in the UK, Ilan has also dedicated the last few years to volunteering, non-formal education, and leadership, and being part of many conferences all around the world. Besides being a passionate writer and blogger, he is also an entrepreneur and innovation/tech lover–while launching his own startup with two friends (HUB International is available online), Ilan has also been a finalist at The University of Manchester’s ‘Eureka Innovation Challenge 2013’.
Concerning Zionist and Jewish topics, Ilan was Habonim Dror’s National Director twice, from 2010-2012. Also, he launched the first t’nuat noar in Punta del Este, a small Uruguayan city. While an Educational Coordinator at the Jewish Community in Montevideo, Ilan has also been in charge of the Community’s Youth Think Tank. In addition, he was an Uruguayan representative at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in both 2012 and 2013, and once at the 12th Meeting of Latin American and Caribbean Jewish Institutions and Community Leaders in Quito, Ecuador.
Israel has a defining place in Ilan’s identity as a diasporic-globalist-young Jew, so to advocate its mere existence is also to advocate his past and his story, his values and the future of his own people. If he didn’t do it, Ilan would both not be supporting his own life, but also be undermining his own source of happiness, liberty, and the core of his identity.
- Ted y el futuro del liderazgo judió (Aurora)
- Cristinia Fernández, AMIA y el Interés Nacional Que No es Tal
- El Otro Frente De la Defensa de Israel
- ¿Por Qué Irán Quiere Ser un Actor Nuclear?
- Jelen’s Big Slip (InFocus)
San Francisco State University
Kayla Wold is a senior at San Francisco State University, dual majoring in Communication Studies and Psychology, and will be applying to Ph.D. programs this upcoming semester. Kayla was born and raised in a small city called Los Angeles! She does research at UCSF focussing on promoting health behavior change with veterans currently in addiction treatment to support their sobriety and optimize their health. She also works at SFSU in the Health Center as a Sexual Health Educator empowering students to make informed choices about their own health and reproductive lives. As well as working two jobs, she has also founded a pro-Israel group on SFSU’s campus with six other students.
Kayla’s favorite place in Israel is Sderot. Sderot is a city where people knowingly live with the knowledge that any moment Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip can abrupt their daily life. But when you walk through the city, you see people walking around, smiling, without living in fear.
- Who is Edward Said and Why is His Picture on a Mural at Cesar Chavez Center? (InFocus, CAMERAonCampus)
SUNY Binghamton University
Justin Hayet was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and currently attends SUNY Binghamton. Justin’s story with Israel begins in 2010 when he was accepted into the Diller Teen Fellows Leadership Program, a Jewish identity and Israel focused program for Juniors in high school. This program, and his friends from Baltimore and Israel, who Justin met through the program, acted as catalysts for his later involvement within the Jewish and pro-Israel communities.
After a year as a participant in the Diller program, Justin was chosen to be a Junior Counselor for the next year’s group and acted as a mentor to the 2011-2012 Diller Cohort. At SUNY Binghamton, Justin is the AIPAC Campus Liaison and works to create a strong pro-Israel community there. Whenever Justin is home from college, he actively works for The Associated Jewish Federation of Greater Baltimore within the campaign department, striving to pay it forward to the community that helped connect him to Israel. Justin’s favorite place in Israel is Jaffa, which he loves for its history, beautiful buildings, and breathtaking views of Tel Aviv. It is the perfect place that captures an ancient Israel alongside a modern Israel.
- One Word: Identity (Baltimore Jewish Times)
- Rabbis Reflect (Baltimore Jewish Times)
- Letter to the Editor: Israel Cannot be Compared to Syria (The Pipe Dream)
- American Studies Association Israel Boycott is Unjust (The Pipe Dream, InFocus)
- Israeli Soldier Advocates for Palestinian Compromise (The Pipe Dream, InFocus)
- Response: Support for resistance will act as a catalyst for conflict (The Pipe Dream)
Ben Kravis is currently a sophomore at Tulane University majoring in Literature and premedical studies. Born in Japan and raised in West Caldwell, New Jersey, he graduated from Solomon Schechter Day School. Ben traveled on two school-sponsored trips to Israel, one in ninth grade for 10 days and the other for all of spring semester of senior year.
At Tulane, Ben is involved in Israel advocacy through Tulane University for Israel (TUFI) and Hillel. Ben is also an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. His hobbies are being with friends, reading, hiking, and exercising. After graduating college he wants to defer medical school for a few years to serve in the Special Forces of the Israel Defense Forces. Justin’s favorite place in Israel is the Dead Sea.
- Letter to the Editor (The Tulane Hulaballoo)
- Speakers Discredit SJP (The Tulane Hulaballoo, InFocus)
University of California, Berkeley
Alana Corre grew up in Los Angeles. She decided to stay in California for college and is now a sophomore at UC Berkeley. Alana intends to double major in public health and pre-med. In her spare time, Alana likes reading, watching movies, and playing with her dog Wesley. Her favorite book is Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. Alana is also really into time period TV shows like Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and Boardwalk Empire.
University of California, Irvine
Daniel Narvy Is a third-year student at UC Irvine studying Political Science. He also studied at Machon Meir in Kiryat Moshe. Daniel is the president of Anteaters for Israel, the Zionist club at UCI. He enjoys hiking, sports, and follows the team Beitar Yerushalayim. Daniel says that every Birthright trip makes sure to take students to Tel Aviv for the parties and beaches, to Tzfat for the kabbala, and Jerusalem for the spirituality, but no trip ever makes it to Hevron, the resting place of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov. Hevron is the first land Avraham bought in Israel and the original capital of the Jewish people.
Daniel’s favorite place in Israel is Ma’arat HaMachpela, where our patriarchs are buried because it is the origin of the Jewish people and the Hebrew nation. This is his favorite place because the people, the history, and the atmosphere are so real in Hevron. The Jews who live there do so out of devotion and national pride. The soldiers protecting them are the shield that combines our ancient culture with our modern state. And the Torah kept in Hevron is the Torah kept as it was intended.
- The Ring Road Wall: An Israeli Perspective (The New University)
- ASUCI: The Apartheid Divestment (Con) (The New University)
University of Delaware
Philip Chinitz is a junior at the University of Delaware. His primary studies include marketing, with minors in international business and economics. Philip is an active member of the University of Delaware Hillel, Music Director/radio host for the university radio station, and organizer of concerts on campus, and has played saxophone for the University of Delaware Marching Band. He is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), in which he spent one month in the North Cascades of Washington concentrating in mountaineering, risk management, and first aid skills. During Philip’s initial visit to Israel (January 2013), he enjoyed the unique culture of the Israeli people, along with the opportunity to connect with his Israeli family. Aside from Israel, Philip has traveled to over a dozen countries, including China, Vietnam, Iceland, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, and various parts of Europe.
The University of Florida
Avia Gridi is a junior at The University of Florida, double majoring in business and political science. She grew up in South Florida and has lived in Florida her entire life. Avia spent this past summer interning at The U.S. House of Representatives and had a great time learning about foreign policy. Her favorite place in Israel is the south because she enjoys learning about all the amazing ways Israel has allowed it to flourish despite it starting off relatively bare.
- Inside the Mind of a Bomber (The Alligator, The Algemeiner, InFocus)
University of Houston
César Domingo is originally from Panama City, but he has now made Houston his home. He is currently a senior student in the Global Business department. He has already finished studies in Economics and Political Science.
He co-founded Speak Up, the only pro-Israel organization at the University of Houston and was introduced to CAMERA by Rabbi Kenny Weiss. His goals are to create a strong pro-Israel community at the University of Houston, and in the professional aspect, to be part of a research institute that focuses on the Middle East.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Brett Hausler is a senior studying social thought and political economy in addition to public policy and administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He spent the spring of 2013 studying abroad in New Zealand, where he traveled the whole country, as well as visited Fiji and Australia.
At UMass Amherst, Brett has been a policy specialist, communications, and outreach director, and advocate for affordable and accessible higher education through the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy, as well as a sports commentator and executive producer for the public radio station WMUA. Brett is also the DJ Training Director at WMUA for the 2013-2014 school year. He has served as a summer camp staff member for three years while participating in two Jewish leader fellowships: Olim Fellowship and Cornerstone Fellowship. During the summer of 2013, he worked in the Berkshires as the Development Associate for URJ Eisner and Crane Lake Camps.
His record of community service includes work with the Ethiopian-Israeli communities in Israel through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Brett has also participated in CAMERA’s leadership and advocacy training in Israel in the summer of 2012. He chose to become an activist because he does not want to stand idly by while the news media and its supporters continue to report inaccurately about Israel and the Middle East. Brett’s goal is to influence other students at UMass Amherst to participate in CAMERA’s advocacy goals so that the effects last longer than his time as a Fellow.
- United Nations Human Rights Council: Is it legitimate? (InFocus)
- Israel, a Hub for Diversity (The Daily Collegian, InFocus, The Algemeiner)
University of Pittsburgh
Lauren loves traveling to Israel, especially hiking mountains by the Red Sea. Lauren hopes that the knowledge she gains through this year’s upcoming fellowship will aid not only her middle school dreams of being an activist for Israel, but also to propel her into an International relations career bettering the social, economic, and political relations between China and Israel.
- Our Fellow at the University of Pittsburg Sets the Record Straight on Settlements (The Pitt News, InFocus)
University of South Florida
In spring of 2011, Danielle participated in the March of the Living Mission to Poland and Israel. In the summer of 2008, she went on the Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors Leadership Mission to Israel. These experiences have inspired her to take on a role as a pro-Israel advocate on campus. She is interested in utilizing her writing skills to share her knowledge and passion for Israel with others and influence the public conversation on related issues.
- Con: Palestinian ‘Nakba’ event misconstrues history (The Oracle)
- Letter to the Editor: ‘Battle of the Bulls’ event spreads falsehoods about Israel (The Oracle, The Algemeiner, InFocus)
- Building Peace at USF (InFocus)
- Letter to the Editor: In Response to a Petition to Boycott Israeli Companies (The Oracle, InFocus)
University of Washington
Nicole Einbinder is a sophomore at the University of Washington, studying International Studies with a Human Rights focus at the Jackson School of International Studies. She plans on also majoring in Communications. Nicole is originally from Orange County, California but moved to Seattle to attend school. Nicole writes for UW’s campus paper, the Daily, is a leadership intern at Hillel, where she serves as a co-Israel Programming Coordinator, and is involved with Greek life. She is also a member of UW’s Honors program.
Nicole is passionate about social justice, writing, and learning about new peoples and cultures. Her desire to become an activist is due to a life-changing trip she took to Israel the summer before her junior year of high school called TIES (Teen Israel Experience Summer). Witnessing the state, people, and culture firsthand instilled Nicole with a newfound appreciation for Judaism’s rich history, while also fueling her drive to stand up for Israel against those who denounce its right to exist. As a history buff, it was an incredible experience to walk along the ancient cobblestones of Jerusalem and ruins of Masada, while also learning about the many innovative things that Israel has achieved in the present.
Washington University in St. Louis
Meytal Chernoff was born in New York but spent most of her life in Evanston, Illinois. She is now a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis. In school she is pre-med, studying anthropology and biology in order to link her fascination with history and the development of society with her love of medicine. Meytal also takes as many literature classes as possible, and enjoys reading and discussing the vast majority of book genres. She loves writing, especially poetry, and is the literature editor of “Spires,” an intercollegiate literary magazine based on WashU’s campus.
Meytal chose to become an activist because she was educated in the Hebrew Day School system, she had spent her entire life surrounded by people who supported Israel, and discussion about its current events were common in her home and among friends. However, Meytal knew that this would change once she attended a secular university. Therefore, she decided to take a class in Israel advocacy during her senior year. It was one of the first times she learned how the history of the state of Israel was viewed from both sides of the argument and was able to separate the facts from the biases on both sides. Chernoff decided to apply for a position in Israel advocacy to help open the conversation on her campus in a way that generated honest and positive discussion. Meytal wants to give people the facts so that they can come to their own opinions towards the State of Israel to see it for what it really is, the sole democracy and true American ally in the region.
- A Realistic Approach to the Israeli-Arab Conflict (The Washington University Political Review, InFocus)
- A Call for Academic Freedom (The Algemeiner, InFocus)