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Some extremely motivated ORT Israel students have created a Web site with the purpose of educating students around the globe on news and life in Israel.
"Eye 2 Israel," the first hasbara (public relations) project of its kind, was established this past year and combines the efforts of 8th to 11th graders at ORT Israel high-schools with those of the Foreign Ministry to educate adolescents worldwide on topics relating to the state of Israel.
As part of the project, hasbara experts from the Foreign Ministry will instruct approximately 40 students from ORT Israel schools around the country on a monthly basis and help them develop the tools they need to do hasbara themselves.
Yaakov Sapir, the project's initiator, came up with the idea after participating in a lecture on hasbara three years ago.
"They spoke about how little our country deals with hasbara towards the rest of the world. I thought that it would be a great idea for our ORT Israel students to create a Web site in order to reach the students of other countries, since today the Internet is the way to get through to students that age," he said. "This project contributes to the State of Israel, allows the students to get experience in news areas, and teaches the students themselves more on the subject."
The Web site itself, www.israel1.org, is currently in English, and there are French, Arabic, Russian, and Spanish Web sites in the works, as well. The site aims to pass over a reliable, dynamic, and matter-of-fact message from adolescents living in Israel to their peers around the world.
Over the past year, the students have written hundreds of messages and articles including information, feelings, explanations, and personal opinions on Israel. The Web site, which includes active forums, has also organized emails to the president of Iran in protest of his statements against Israel.
A special ORT administration was formed to deal with the project, which is expected to continue and even expand over the next year.