Israeli grads to serve as campus emissaries


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A new program will send Israeli university graduates as emissaries to college campuses around the world.

The program, a collaboration between the Jewish Agency for Israel and the National Union of Israeli Students, was launched Wednesday. It will send the graduates to serve for one year at universities around the world to influence public opinion as favorable to Israel on campus as well as to reinforce the bond between Jewish college students and Israel.

Some of the emissaries also will be sent to small Jewish communities in countries such as Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Peru, Belgium, Holland and Norway, as well as cities such as Santa Fe, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain; Turin, Italy; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The pilot project will begin this academic year with about a dozen participants, with plans to expand later to hundreds of participants. Students selected for the program will undergo in-depth training during their final year in university.  

"The most important mission of the Jewish people today is to strengthen the connection of the younger generation with the heritage, the people and the State of Israel," said Natan Sharansky, the Jewish Agency’s chairman. "There is no substitute for a young Israeli who comes to campuses abroad and represents Israel with a lot of knowledge and a lot of pride."

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