Campus Initiative on Israel Engagement to connect Bay Area Jewish students

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A consortium of Bay Area organizations has launched the Campus Initiative on Israel Engagement.

The goal of the initiative, a three-year project with an estimated cost of $1.6 million, is to “create meaningful attachment to Israel among students in the face of the de-legitimization movement, and to foster positive Jewish engagement and identity,” according to a statement from the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties announcing the initiative.

The partners in the initiative, which has raised $820,000 since December, include Hillel International; the Jewish Federation of the East Bay and the Jewish Community Foundation; the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley; all eight Hillels within Northern California, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.

The initiative is part of a larger goal of increasing and deepening engagement among Jews in the Bay Area. It aims to provide a counterweight to the increasingly anti-Israel climate on college campuses, according to the statement.

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“This initiative will direct and grow positive Israel engagement opportunities for students on campus, created through a customized and grassroots approach,” the statement said.

The initiative will reach more than 10,000 Jewish students in the Bay Area.

“This important initiative seeks to provide positive, concrete Jewish connections for students on campus,” said Danny Grossman, CEO of the San Francisco-based federation. “Our goal is to engage and inspire those who might feel that there isn’t a place for them.”

Jyl Jurman, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, said: “We hope that this initiative provides the support to our Jewish students to develop intersectionality with like-minded students on our college campuses who want to partner for peace in Israel. We also hope that this initiative helps the students on all of our Northern California campuses to make them feel safe in their expression of their ideas.”

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