It is not often that one gets to hear from six members of Israel’s Knesset at one time (at certain moments it was literally all six at the same time), albeit in an American university setting.
Last week, we were privileged to host six members of Knesset from five different parties, thanks to The Ruderman Family Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Northeastern University, for a town hall style event at Northeastern University. Presenting views from the far left to the far right, this event was a great example of offering something for everyone. Presenting the true diversity of Israel, we are fortunate to have been able to host such an important event on the Northeastern campus.
While the event with the members of Knesset was a historic event at Northeastern, it is just one of countless events recently at Northeastern that gives me both hope for the future of the Jewish State and hope for the future of the Pro-Israel movement on America’s college campuses.
Earlier this year, we were privileged to host Israel’s new Consul General to New England, Yehudah Yaakov, for his first public address since taking office. Consul General Yaakov spoke about making cyber security cooperation between our two countries a top priority. Yaakov’s address was tailored towards the many college students who came from all over Massachusetts to attend this important event.
In addition to our larger public events, many informal events have been held by our campus pro-Israel group, Huskies for Israel. From a live cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Gil Hovav, to a lecture by a world renowned human-rights activist and winner of UN Watch’s Freedom Award, Simon Deng, to an Israeli food festival on a main campus quad, we have a plethora of opportunities to engage with students of all backgrounds around Israel.
Equally as exciting is the fact that more Northeastern students are traveling to Israel than ever before. This past year, more than 200 Northeastern students spent time in Israel on programs like Birthright, alternative spring break trips, and summer internships. Northeastern University is known for its distinctive cooperative educational approach, integrating classroom study with real world experiences known as co-ops. Students alternate classroom studies with full-time work in career related jobs for six months. Now more than ever, student interest is growing and Northeastern is increasing co-op opportunities in Israel
Not only have recent events at Northeastern showcased the great politics and culture of Israeli society, but it is more evident than ever that Northeastern is becoming a center for pro-Israel activity in the Boston area. To have so much happening on a campus with a comparatively small Jewish population is something to be proud of, and I look forward to the continued success of the collegiate pro-Israel movement here at Northeastern.