israel affairs vice president

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israel affairs vice president
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ISRAEL AFFAIRS VICE
PRESIDENT
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Israel @ 65!
On Yom Ha’atzmaut 2013/5773 Israel celebrated
her 65th birthday. What an accomplishment!
Birthdays give us a reason to focus on and
appreciate someone’s good qualities. That’s what I
want to do to celebrate Israel’s birthday!
I’m excited to use this occasion to educate USYers
about everything great Israel has done! I’m sure
you’ve all heard before that Israelis created the
technology that powers your cell phone, but did
you know that Israelis are currently working on a
cure for cancer?
This year, I’ll be
celebrating this wonderful
country and the successes
of its citizens through
programs, Israel Updates,
and more. I can’t wait to
hear about the great
things you do with this in
your chapters!
Where to start?
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WHAT IS HECHALUTZIM?
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WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO JOIN
HECHALUTZIM?
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WHAT DO I RECEIVE AS A
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How to: Give an Israel Update!
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CLDLBLM<<<!
E DUCATION: Learn about Israel by knowing all of the basic facts and keeping up
with current events! You can do something as simple as checking out the Jerusalem
Post website (www.jpost.com) everyday or watching the news for stories about Israel
(and check out the sources at the end of this packet).
A LWAYS STAY POSITIVE: It is important to be careful with your word choice
when discussing Israel. Try to turn negative statements into more positive ones. Example:
Israel could not have prevented the attack yesterday. Instead say: Israel is working to
prevent attacks such as the one yesterday.
S OLIDARITY: As the expression goes: the more, the merrier! You, as your chapter
IA, do not have to advocate for Israel by yourself! Work with the rest of your chapter
and even your synagogue to think of new ways for supporting Israel. Be sure to show
solidarity for Israel and be supportive.
Y OUR MONEY: Although money isn’t everything, there are many organizations in
Israel to which you and your chapter can donate in order to help Israel. Every dollar
counts! One idea is to work with your Social Action/Tikun Olam (SA/TO) VP to raise
money through your chapter. You can even donate to Israel through your Tikun Olam
allocations.
NO!56)#!+2!:&++&$!D*P2Q%QR!
1. Israel is a democracy- always remind people that Israel is the only
democracy in the Middle East.
2. Israel wants peace- many Americans think that the lack of peace is due to
both Israelis and Palestinians. Always stress that Israel’s main goal has always
been and always will be peace.
3. Offense- Stay on the offense. Remember that what people hear sticks with
them and so if they hear you constantly talking about Israel’s commitment to
democracy, freedom, and peace, then that is what will stick with them.
4. Don’t stress the (ancient) past- It’s all about the future! The fact that the
Jews have lived in Israel for thousands of years is based on religion, so it is not
always a convincing argument. Think of your audience. Stress the recent past
(Post 1948) and relate it to the present and future to give a valid argument. One
valid argument is the fact that Israel has offered to return lands captured in war
in exchange for peace, while Palestinian leaders have refused to heed this
compromise.
5. Sell the dream- Don’t focus too much on land and who has to give up what.
You lose your audience when they begin to think that one side has given up or
has taken too much land.
6. Cooperate- Make sure that everyone else around you is talking about the same
hopeful message, or the same political message. Mixed messages get people
confused and send out the wrong idea. Things get accomplished when a uniform
message is sent.
7. Spread your message where it needs to be spread- The phrase “preaching
to the choir” applies here. It is important to talk to all USYers, but it is most
important to reach out to those who are indifferent to Israel.
8. Television is the medium- Most people get their news through television.
Media, especially in America, can be incredibly biased against Israel. This is why
it is so important to provide your chapter with accurate news sources and to talk
about media biases so that people in your chapter can watch out for them. Look
at the source when when reading an article or watching the news!
7 Violations of Media Objectivity
1. Misleading definitions and terminology
2. Imbalanced reporting
3. Opinionated reporting
4. Lack of context
5. Selective omission
6. Using true facts to draw false conclusions
7. Distortions of facts
9. Keep it simple- Instead of overwhelming people in your chapter with tons of
new information; pick a few key things you want to stress. Repetition is key!
Keep stressing your key points and people will catch on! If you want to stress
peace, then keep bringing up peace and maybe give a new example every week
or every few weeks so that people don’t have to retain tons of information, and
your key point is still being put out there.
10. Delegate- You are not the sole advocator of Israel. Jews in USY and even the
U.S. are responsible. If you need or want help, get other USYers involved, or
even get your entire synagogue involved (like Sisterhood or Men’s Club)
How to: Get involved with AIPAC!
What: AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is a
group that lobbies members of the U.S. Congress to vote in favor of
bills that support Israel.
Why: Israel is one of America’s strongest allies, and its only ally in
the volatile Middle East. As the only democracy in this region, it is
imperative that the strong partnership between the two nations
remains strong. AIPAC members are educated about issues that
affect both countries; they then lobby Members of Congress to write
and vote for bills that support the countries, such as those that give
Israel foreign aid to build the Iron Dome, or bills that sanction Iran,
who threatens both America and Israel.
When: For high school students, there are multiple ways to be
involved. AIPAC loves high schools Israel advocates, because they
cannot yet even vote – this shows Members of Congress how
important this issue is to you all. In the fall, usually at the end of
October, is AIPAC’s High School Summit. This conference is three
days, a Sunday to a Tuesday, and it is totally free (except for flights).
USY always has spots for interested activists, but the conference is
very small – contact me if you are interested. You must be invited for
this. In March is AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference, a three day event
which is attended by about 13,000 activists (students and adults
alike) and almost two-thirds of Congress. Anyone can go to this, with
or without an invitation, but it is expensive. USY always has spots
with much reduced costs. I’ll make information about both of these
available as the year progresses.
How: Bring AIPAC speakers to chapter events (I can help you with
contacting these people). Promote these events, and invite
community members and other chapters – not just your own USYers.
I have been to Policy Conference twice, and I went to High School
Summit last year. It’s impossible not to fall in love with AIPAC. This
organization is crucial – feel free to ask me any questions about it!
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Program Ideas
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36 Ways to Bring Israel to your Chapter
1. Decorate your youth lounge with Israeli posters and maps and encourage
members who have been to Israel to add their own pictures to this Israel wall.
2. Work with SATO and pick an Israeli charity to teach your chapter about and
raise money for.
3. Make sure everyone in your chapter knows when important Israeli holidays are
such has Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom Ha’zikaron and Yom Ha’shoa.
4. Have a chapter picnic for Yom Ha’atzmaut
5. Teach your chapter Hebrew words and phrases at the start of each program.
6. Play Israeli music at chapter meetings and events
7. Have two clocks in the youth lounge; one on your time, one on Israel time
8. Put up creative signs by different objects in your youth lounge that say what the
Hebrew word is for that object. Ex. by the door put a sign that says delet, or by the
food put up a sign that says ochel
9. Have Israeli chocolate around to munch on
10. Teach traditional Israeli songs at an event. (“Bashanah Haba’ah,”
“Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” etc.)
11. Talk to chapter members and encourage them to go on USY Israel programs
12. Assign chapter members to bring in a piece of Israel-related news to programs
13. Human Israeli Monopoly (Build a life-sized Monopoly board with streets
named after streets in Israel, and use USYers as the game pieces).
14. Set up a mock “waterfall” like Ein Gedi, (waterslide, sprinklers etc.) and splash
your way to a great time.
15. Have a karaoke night with Israeli songs
16. Sell Israeli t-shirts and other goodies to raise money for T.O.
17. Have a picture of the Kotel on the Eastern side of your Youth Lounge to
remind USYers why we face east when we pray.
18.On Lag B’omer, have a bonfire like they do in Israel
19. Put up pictures of different places in Israel in your youth lounge and put a fact
about that place next to it.
20. In your youth lounge hang up Israeli flags, EVERYWHERE
21. Have a blue and white day. Have USYers dress in white and blue, decorate
cookies with white and blue icing, do art with white and blue paint etc.
22. Have past Pilgrimage and Nativ participants come talk to your chapter
23. Learn about youth groups in Israel
24. Play Israeli jeopardy or have Israel Trivia night.
25. Plant a tree in Israel
26. Take your chapter to local pro-Israel events in the community
27. Name teams/groups in weekly programs after Israeli cities
28. Use Facebook to keep your chapter updated on current events in Israel or just
to share links, like a fun Israeli song on youtube.
29. Have a Yom Ha’atzmaut Bar-B-Q
30. Eat falafel and shwarma (and make some pita to go along if you can!)
31. Have a Tzedakah box decorating party at the beginning of the year and have
USYers collect money. Right before Tu B’Shvat collect money and plant a small
forest in honor of your chapter.
32. Have an Israeli soldier come speak about life in the tzahal (army)
33. Determine the differences between the celebrations of Jewish holidays by
Israelis and Americans and try to incorporate both into your celebrations.
34. Set up a Bedouin tent. Sit inside, drink tea and teach your chapter about
Bedouins in Israel.
35. Include little tidbits about Israel at the beginnings of programs and meetings
and include them in emails!
36. Make shoko b’sakit, chocolate milk in a bag (yup, it’s a real thing)
There are countless little ways you can bring Israel to your
chapter. Just remember to be creative and that it’s the little
things that count!
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Resources
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