First-ever virtual 'Israel Summit' launched by Harvard, Columbia University

"Our goal is to allow students of all backgrounds to form unique and personal connections to the State of Israel, in a holistic and nonpartisan environment."

"The Israel Summit" (photo credit: THE ISRAEL SUMMIT)
"The Israel Summit"
(photo credit: THE ISRAEL SUMMIT)
The "Israel Summit," an international movement dedicated to shifting the conversation surrounding Israel on college campuses across the globe, opened on Sunday night on its first-ever virtual session.
The opening session included Fauda co-creator and star Lior Raz; former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper; Google Israel CEO Barak Regev; Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger; and Ankie Spitzer, widow of an Israeli athlete murdered in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
"Through our world-class speakers and career and special opportunities fairs, we seek to broaden all students’ horizons on the Jewish State of Israel," said its founder Max August, a recent graduate of Harvard University, now working at an investment company where he specializes in Israeli hi-tech.
Israel Summit executive director Aidan Golub added that "After months of tireless effort from students around the world, we’re thrilled to be presenting the largest student-run pro-Israel event in history. We have students joining us from over 150 universities and are expecting over 100,000 views over our week of programming alone [whether through our platform, livestream, or other organizations live streaming]."
Moderna CMO Tal Zaks, Senator Mitt Romney and many other prominent leaders in politics, business and arts are scheduled to speak later this week.
"After the cancellation of the 2020 Israel Summit at Harvard, we realized that the remote necessity of COVID-19 presented us with a unique opportunity to engage students on an unprecedented scale," said August. 
"Our goal is to allow students of all backgrounds to form unique and personal connections to the State of Israel, in a holistic and nonpartisan environment," said Sophia Breslauer, a Columbia University student, and one of the leaders of the organization. 
"We seek to engage all students regardless of religion, politics, academic interests or otherwise, enabling the next generation of world leaders to begin their Israel journey on their own terms," she added.
August initially launched "The Israel Summit" at Harvard University in 2017 and further developed it once he returned to campus after participating in the summer leadership program Birthright Excel.
Multiple leaders, including August and Breslauer are alumni of the highly-selective fellowship program that begins with a 10-week business or technology summer experience in Israel and have cited their participation as reason for being involved in "The Israel Summit."