‘Christian Birthright’ returns to the Knesset

Christian college students travel to Israel to take part in an prep-workshop for Israel advocacy on campus.

June 24, 2013 21:54
1 minute read.
Taglit-Birthright Israel participants celebrate

Taglit-Birthright Israel 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The 10th annual Israel Experience College Scholarship Program brought 17 Christian college students to the Knesset on Monday, part of a three-week workshop preparing them to be advocates for Israel.

The program is like a Christian version of Taglit-Birthright, in which top students with diplomatic capabilities get a free trip to learn about Israel and get the tools to combat anti-Israel rhetoric on their campuses.

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Some of the program's alumni have gone on to work for the White House, the European Union and for US senators and governors.

“Despite being the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, we are losing the battle for public opinion on university campuses,” said Josh Reinstein, director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, expressing hope that the scholarship program will help combat anti-Israel views.

The college students met with American-born MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), who called it “inspiring to see young people outside the Jewish faith who understand the importance and significance of the State of Israel.”

“I believe we need to reach out and create bridges between Israeli students and students throughout the Western world to tell the truth about Israel and promote our shared values,” Lipman said.

Danielle DosSantos, a student at Rutgers University, said pro- Israel voices do not have enough of a presence on her campus, where she has seen anti-Semitism in pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

“The Israel Experience College Scholarship program is equipping me with the knowledge to counter speech directed against Israel, educate the misinformed and promote peace,” she said.

Brooke Brewer, a student at California State University Long Beach, said the trip has been an eye-opening experience, and that misconceptions about Israel were dispelled in a way that she can share with others at home.

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