Saturday, March 25, 2023

I was surprised and disappointed that the article “What University Students Wish Their Yeshiva High School Israel Advocacy Class Had Covered” (August 17, 2022) failed to mention the educational and advocacy resources that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) provides to college students across the U.S.

For much of our storied history, the ZOA’s campus department has been at the forefront of educating Jewish and non-Jewish students about Israel and Zionism, so that they can respond with knowledge and confidence to the anti-Israel falsehoods that are unfortunately being promoted on campuses across the country, inside and outside the classroom. ZOA Campus is on nearly 100 college campuses. Our Campus Coordinators—recent college graduates who have a record of strong pro-Israel advocacy and leadership skills—work with students to provide engaging educational events, speakers and grants for programs. Students also have access to ZOA Campus fact sheets, informational booklets and other educational and advocacy resources, giving them much-needed tools to refute lies about Israel and the Jewish people’s connection to their homeland.

We also offer a paid fellowship program. On campuses across the country, students specially selected based on their passion for Israel and their leadership skills, serve as ZOA Campus Fellows. They work with us to sponsor pro-Israel programs specifically suited to their particular campus, keep us apprised of campus problems and issues and coordinate effective strategies for responding to BDS resolutions and other anti-Israel initiatives.

We also sponsor one-of-a-kind ZOA Student Leadership Missions to Israel. Students travel throughout Israel, spending significant time in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria so that they can see firsthand why these areas are so crucial to Israel and the Jewish people.

When students need legal support and advocacy, the ZOA Center for Law and Justice is their go-to resource. The ZOA led and won the battle to ensure that Jewish students would be protected from antisemitic harassment and intimidation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, a law which historically was not being enforced to protect Jews. We have helped Jewish students on campuses across the country, including at Rutgers University, Duke University and the CUNY schools, to name a few.

As your article points out, many incoming college students are unfortunately woefully underprepared for the antisemitism and anti-Israelism they are likely to encounter when they get to campus. The ZOA has been and always will be there to help them, support them and give them the tools they need to stand up proudly and strongly for Israel. For more information about our work, please visit our websites: www.zoa.org and www.campus.zoa.org, or email me directly at [email protected]

Alan Jay
National Director, Outreach & Engagement
Zionist Organization of America
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