By Robert Israel Lappin
As the BDS movement grows on college campuses, and as anti-Israel and anti-semitic activities increase in high schools and in our communities, the American Jewish community is losing ground, losing time, and losing connection to Israel of our Jewish youth. Getting Jewish teens, ages 16 and 17, to Israel en masse, including and following up with Israel advocacy training before they go to college, will equip them to fight anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and particularly the BDS movement. Key to attracting Jewish teens en masse to go to Israel is to offer them a two week fully subsidized teen Israel experience that will educate, train and inspire them to be Israel advocates in high school, during their college years and beyond.
This can be accomplished by forming a trifecta funding partnership of Birthright Israel Foundation, the Government of Israel, through Mosaic United, and Jewish federations, with support from local philanthropists, with each organization contributing $2,000 per teen, to fund the all-in, per-teen cost of $6,000, which includes the two-week Israel trip, Israel advocacy training and administration. This trifecta partnership will: dramatically increase the number of teens having an Israel experience before they go to college; forge strong connections between American Jewish teens and Israel; build a strong, proud, pro-Israel army of boots-on-the-ground to fight BDS on college campuses and counter the advances of Students for Justice in Palestine; and provide a life-changing Jewish experience for disengaged, unaffiliated, and underserved Jewish youth. For teens who desire a longer Israel experience with their Jewish camps, schools, youth groups or temples, vouchers for the equivalent of $2,000 per person from each organization will make the longer teen Israel experience more affordable.
The American Jewish Community must urge Birthright Israel Foundation, the Government of Israel, through Mosaic United, and Jewish federations, with support from local philanthropists, to form a trifecta funding partnership to get teens to Israel en masse if we are to be successful at fighting BDS on college campuses.
We urge individuals to add their names to a petition by emailing [email protected]
Robert Israel Lappin is President of the Lappin Foundation.