More than 400 English-speaking yeshiva students have recently completed an educational curriculum dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict and titled, "Understanding, Advocating, and Inspiring."
The program, which brings courses on the modern State of Israel and Israel advocacy into yeshiva classrooms, was created by The David Project in cooperation with MASA, and Taglit-Birthright.
This year's graduating class is made up of gap year students, who will be able to bring their Jewish leadership experience to college campuses and speak up for Israel.
Turning theory into practice
The program has been implemented in sixteen yeshivot and seminaries across Israel.
Rabbi Yamim Goldsmith, head of the Sha'alvim women's seminary told Ynet, "We are proud to teach our students a love for the Land of Israel and the State of Israel- an integral component of our girls' year in Israel.
Project participants (Photo courtesy of The David Project)
"Through its talented staff and advanced teaching techniques, The David Project reinforces those ideals, making them real and turning theory into practice".
The 16-lesson curriculum is designed to combine history of the Arab-Israeli conflict with Zionism and leadership development. Executive director of the David Project Anna Kolodner explained, "The students' time in the country places them in a unique and opportune position to become effective, life long advocates for Israel… deepening the students' connection with Israel by educating them on Zionism and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and inspiring them to take leadership roles back home".
Inspiring young activistsDavid Project alumni Nava Friedman, a student from the Midreshet Nishmat seminary in Jerusalem, told Ynet, "There is a lot of value to learning the David Project curriculum. When you learn the facts in an environment that is pro-Israel and accepting, you are able to apply what you learned in other environments that are not as supportive of Israel". Next fall Nava will bring her leadership skills to the campus of Princeton University.
The David Project Center for Jewish leadership is a non-profit organization committed to inspiring young voices on behalf of Israel through educational seminars, workshops and curricula. The program's Israel education curriculum, which is taught in North America and Israel, has been implemented in over 100 schools. MASA, the partner organization is responsible for long term student programs in Israel.