Jan 8, 2007 — A select group of 23 Yeshiva University undergraduate students are participating in a leadership mission intended to provide students with the skills and information to run Israel educational and social action programs in high schools and communities upon their return to the United States.
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The students are in the northern part of Israel, learning about the conflict with Syria and Lebanon through the years and helping Israelis rebuild from this summer’s conflict. The trip was coordinated by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and the departments of student affairs on both undergraduate campuses.
On January 2, the group spent the day in Ramat HaGolan, touring the strategic areas of the Golan Heights with retired General Kobi Marom. The YU students were taken to areas crucial in the Yom Kippur War, and the Lebanese wars. They ended the tour on the spot where 73 Israeli soldiers were killed when their helicopters collided after a surveillance mission in Lebanon.
The students also spent time with their Israeli peers, discussing world Jewry’s support of Israel; met with Karmit Goldwasser, wife of kidnapped soldier Ehud Goldwasser; interacted with the recent Bnei Menashe aliyah; and studied in Midreshet Nov for women and Yeshivat Hispin for men in the north, both of which were closed during the 2006 war with Lebanon.
The group also responded to a call by Magen David Adom asking for blood donations. Due to a severe blood shortage, the blood bank at Magen David Adom was forced to stop delivering blood to many hospitals. A blood drive where YU students, friends, and alumni were encouraged to donate blood was planned for January 5, in Jerusalem’s Kikar Tzion; in Haifa on January 7; and at YU’s Israel campus on January 30th.
“The responsibility to create student leadership laboratories is at the core of unique activist atmosphere at Yeshiva University,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of YU’s Center for Jewish Future. “We are glad to partner with other departments in the university to create experiences to empower the next generation of Jewish leaders.”
The Center for the Jewish Future also sponsored a trip for students who are in Israel independently and want to visit the Gush Etzion region. Two hundred YU students spent Monday, January 8, in Gush Etzion, learning about the area and interacting with some of the YU alumni who call Gush home