About the Fellowship
Hasbara Fellowships in Israel
Winter 2014/15 Dates
December 24, 2014 - January 6, 2015 (Includes New England Track)
December 28, 2014 - January 13, 2015
Who We Are
Hasbara Fellowships is the largest and most comprehensive Israel education and activism program for North American university students to Israel. Founded in 2001, Hasbara Fellowships was the first formal program for students battling anti-Israel propaganda on their campuses in the wake of the second Palestinian intifada. Twelve years later, Hasbara Fellowships remains the largest program of this type. Hasbara Fellowships uniquely brings hundreds of students to Israel each year for 16-days of pro-Israel education.`
The goal of the Hasbara program is simple: to empower a community of pro-Israel university students to have strategic impact for Israel on their campuses.
We firmly believe that proper Israel advocacy education is the most crucial component of a successful pro-Israel movement on campus. All other components of success for the pro-Israel movement - including programming, materials, speakers, conferences, relationship building, talking points, etc. - depend on cultivating well-educated student leaders who can plan strategically and execute effectively.
Intensive Israel activism education is the core strategy of Hasbara Fellowships and remains exclusively our niche. Hasbara Fellowships brings hundreds of students to Israel every summer and winter; over 3,000 students from more than 250 campuses have benefited from the information, tools and confidence provided by the program since its inception. Hasbara Fellows return to their campuses as strategic thinkers, organizational leaders and innovative advocates, dedicated to the positive portrayal of Israel on campus.
Content of Our Program
The Hasbara Fellowships Israel Training Program has two main goals:
Education: In order to advocate for Israel, participants must first understand why Israel is worth advocating for! Hasbara Fellowships focuses on the aspects of Israel that make it the most exciting project of the last century. Sites and projects visited include:
- Humanitarian projects like Save a Child’s Heart
- Environmental initiatives like MASHAV’s agricultural training center
- Hi-Tech Companies
The itinerary also includes visiting projects and meeting Israelis who represent Israel’s values that are worth advocating for including:
- Peace projects between Israelis and Palestinians
- Minority Rights and Human Rights non-profit organizations
- Democratic institutions such as the Knesset and Supreme Court
Additionally, the program gives participants a deeper understanding of the security threats Israelis face on a regular basis including visits to:
- The borders with Syria and Lebanon
- Visiting Sderot and the western Negev near Gaza
- A strategic tour of Jerusalem
Fellows also have the opportunity to meet with many important members of Israeli society including journalists, politicians, and prominent Israel activists, and are exposed to a variety of perspectives on the Israeli political spectrum.
Training: As participants gain familiarity with facts and figures, they simultaneously undergo a ‘practical advocacy’ curriculum that helps develop strategic tools to communicate effectively about Israel, as well as workshops that teach the nuts and bolts of good advocacy. Sessions are led by Hasbara Fellowships staff, as well as outside experts. The main areas focused upon include:
- Building strategic plans for your pro-Israel campus movement, allowing you to have long lasting impact, as opposed to individual events and programs (based on Hasbara Fellowships’ “Impact Planning Initiative”)
- Gaining social media tools to communicate your message effectively; participants will actively use social media on the program in order to gain skills in a hands-on manner
- Strengthening communication skills in order to have effective conversations with fellow students, as well as having the confidence to answer difficult questions about Israel
- Understanding how to effectively build relationships and coalitions with other student organizations and leaders on campus
- How to effectively utilize campus media, implement programming and engage the general campus population about Israel
Campus Follow Up
Upon returning from the program to their respective campuses, Hasbara Fellows receive support from our professional staff, providing ongoing guidance, resources, and motivation. All students who are accepted to the program commit to being advocates for Israel on their campuses for at least two semesters on campus immediately following their time in Israel.
Selection of Participants
Selection for the Hasbara Fellowships is highly selective. Participants must demonstrate:
- A high level commitment to Israel advocacy on campus and proven involvement
- Notable leadership experience and capability
- Specific goals for how to utilize their experience as a Hasbara Fellow upon returning to campus
- At least two semesters on campus immediately following the Israel program
Notable Past Speakers
- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
- Shimon Peres, President of Israel
- Natan Sharansky, Head of Jewish Agency and Former Knesset Member
- Danny Ayalon, Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States
- Einat Wilf, Member of Knesset
- Khaled abu Toameh, Reporter and Expert on the Palestinians
- Gil Hoffman, Chief Political Correspondent and Analyst for The Jerusalem Post
- Sergeant Benjamin Anthony
Note: Click here for costs of the Hasbara Fellowships Israel Program.