Jonathan Davis

Campus Challenges Abroad, Opportunities in Israel

Demonstrations in support of Israel and pro-Palestinian supporters on college campus, photos: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In recent times, Jewish students worldwide have encountered an increasingly challenging atmosphere on university campuses, especially those who proudly identify with the State of Israel. The rise of chants like “From the River to the Sea” and anti-Zionist slogans, emanating from Jihadist groups, uninformed “useful idiots,” and outright antisemites, has created an environment where expressing pro-Israel sentiments can be met with hostility.

Adding to the complexity is the portrayal of Jews as “white and privileged” at top universities, a stark contrast to historical discrimination when these institutions imposed quotas on Jewish admissions. Professor Alan Dershowitz’s reflections in his book “CHUTZPAH” echo a past that now resurfaces in an ironic twist.

The landscape has transformed significantly due to the advent of “Cancel Culture,” “Woke” ideologies, and anti-colonialist concepts. Many Jewish students find themselves hesitating to express their opinions openly, fearing backlash, berating, or even academic ostracization from those with differing views.

The more a student identifies with Jewish identity or supports Israel vocally, the higher the likelihood of encountering negative reactions or outright hostility. Yet, for the majority opting to maintain a low profile and avoid confrontation, the status quo might be bearable until graduation.

However, for students contemplating graduate studies, the discomfort experienced on current campuses may influence their choices for furthering their degrees education. Those identifying with Israel and proud of their Jewish identity may seek an environment that encourages freedom of speech and expression without condoning extreme viewpoints.

An alternative worth considering is pursuing graduate studies in Israel, a country with a supportive academic environment that aligns with Zionist values.

The Raphael Recanati International School at Reichman University in Herzliya offers a range of English-taught graduate programs. The university’s mission, focusing on the student as a partner, emphasizes freedom, responsibility, academic excellence, and entrepreneurial values.

Ranked 7th globally in entrepreneurship among smaller universities, Reichman University boasts a track record with 18 unicorns and $8 billion in exits. English-taught graduate degrees include Diplomacy, Counter Terrorism, Financial Economics, Behavioral Economics, Human-Computer Interaction, Machine Learning, and innovative MBA programs.

Choosing to study at Reichman University presents a refreshing alternative, providing a dynamic setting with students from diverse backgrounds. The emphasis on academic excellence, coupled with a supportive community, creates an environment where diverse perspectives are valued. For those seeking a fulfilling educational journey in a secure and beautiful setting, Reichman University emerges as a beacon of academic freedom and opportunity.

In addition to the offerings at Reichman University, there are several other esteemed institutions in Israel with excellent English-taught graduate programs. Institutions such as Tel Aviv University (TAU), Hebrew University (HU), University of Haifa (Haifa U), Ben-Gurion University (BGU), Bar Ilan University, and the Technion Institute present a wealth of options for prospective graduate students.

For each university mentioned, you can find detailed information about their graduate programs by following the provided links. Whether you’re interested in diplomacy, economics, technology, or other fields, these institutions offer a broad spectrum of English-language courses.

Regardless of the university you choose for your graduate studies in Israel, a country renowned for its English-speaking programs, may you find solace and respite from the challenges faced during your undergraduate years. Embrace the academically resilient and vibrant atmosphere of the Jewish and Democratic State of Israel as you embark on this new educational journey.

About the Author
Jonathan Davis is head of the international school at Reichman University (formerly the IDC) and vice president of external relations there. He is also a member of the advisory board of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Mr. Davis also serves as a Lieutenant Colonel (Res) in the IDF Spokesman’s office.