The 2014 Write On for Israel Fellows at Israel's Independence Hall.
Twenty-eight Chicago-area teenagers spent the past week in Israel as part of the Write On for Israel Fellowship. Sponsored by JUF’s Israel Education Center, the intensive, challenging two-year program trains young people to lead Israel advocacy efforts when they get to college.
After a year of study in Chicago, the Fellows traveled to Israel to experience the issues firsthand and develop their ability to translate learning into action.
Landing last Thursday, just hours before news of the three kidnapped students broke, the group has heard insights and analysis about the developing story from a diverse array of speakers and guests, including former spokeswoman for the Prime Minister Miri Eisen, Dr. Rachel Feder of Tel Aviv University, Times of Israel opinion editor Miriam Herschlag, JUF’s Israel office Director General Ofer Bavly and others.
Evan Lissoos, a rising senior at Highland Park High School, noted that two speakers – Eisen and Ha’aretz blogger Allison Kaplan Sommer – both stressed the importance of headlines in drawing readers’ attention to a story.
“In all of my writing for school and Write On,” Evan said, “I focus completely on the content and almost forget about the title. The speakers made me realize that there is a whole other part of my writing that can change how a reader looks at it.”
The group is spending Shabbat in Jerusalem and will have meetings with officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Knesset, as well as with Palestinian teenagers and a host of other journalists and experts, before returning home next Tuesday.
For more information, read this blog post of WOFI Fellow Joshua Hoffman.