University of Georgia: Scott Eisenberg
Scott Eisenberg is the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) president at the University of Georgia. As a senior in college, Eisenberg is studying as a psychology major and a global health minor, hoping to later work in the medical field. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Eisenberg attended Jewish day school at Davis Academy where he was first exposed to Israel when the school took him there for an eighth grade trip. It was at that trip where Eisenberg found a deeper meaning in Israel.
During his first year at University of Georgia, Eisenberg found SSI because he was looking for a way to be active on campus. When his friend was the previous president of SSI, Eisenberg began going to more events and thought that SSI’s mission had a good cause, which ultimately led him to become more involved. Eisenberg says that “as a Jewish student, I felt the need to learn more about Israel because I did not know a lot.” He also adds “that it is also important to represent Israel on campus, because if we don’t, nobody else will.”
As a whole, Eisenberg expresses that he would like to see his campus turn into one where students care more about the current events in Israel. Furthermore, Eisenberg states that “most of the campus is apathetic to the situation and many people do not know or care about what is going on [in Israel].” All in all, he wants more people to become informed about informed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and all the good Israel does. In addition to this, “it has been difficult to get people to come to our events because so many students do not care and are indifferent to the situation.” A lot of people do not think that learning about Israel will affect their lives so they do not care to attend events so for SSI at University of Georgia, it is very difficult to get people to understand what Israel does for the world.
Events that have worked well on Eisenberg’s campus are those that represent Israel as well as other aspects of life. For example, SSI at University of Georgia had an Israeli health care event that adhered to both health majors and people who like Israel. Eisenberg addresses that “you need to cater to all interests on campus that connect other hobbies and Israel so that more people come to events.”
Overall being a part of SSI has made Eisenberg feel more confident in his opinions about Israel, allowed him to speak his own voice and feels that he can preach it. He mentions that not everyone will agree with his words but you can not force an opinion on someone else, so he’s learned to work with that. In other words, “you need to respect everyone’s opinion.”
In the future, Eisenberg hopes to be a practicing physician and still be involved in the pro-Israel community.
To the rest of the SSI’ers, Eisenberg states that “you should adhere with other people and groups so that they come – because you put out events for them and if people aren’t coming to you to learn more about Israel, go to them to teach them about it to improve their knowledge.”