The California State University system plans to resume system-wide opportunities for students to study abroad in Israel. The office of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed informed the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) and California State Assembly member Bob Blumenfield that CSU plans to allow students at CSU system schools to travel to Israel for academic programs beginning in the fall of 2012.
CSU suspended its Israel study opportunities in 2002 when the US State Department issued a travel warning for American citizens visiting Israel. The warning remains in effect, but many schools have found ways to reinstate their programs.
This academic year, ICC’s “Let Our Students Go!” study abroad task force set as a goal to help CSU resume its Israel study abroad program. ICC representatives met with CSU officials and worked with a coalition of interested parties, including San Francisco Hillel, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee, the Jewish Community Relations Councils of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and a range of local and global community members to help CSU to re-examine and reach the decision to resume CSU’s study abroad program in Israel. Delegations from the Israeli Consulates in Los Angeles and San Francisco also met separately with CSU officials to offer perspective and information.
According to CSU’s System Director of International Programs, the decision sets in motion a review process aimed at assessing the risk involved in study in Israel. By December, CSU will issue a policy statement outlining guidelines for students who wish to study in Israel despite the continuing State Department advisory.