The 2014 Write On for Israel Fellows at Israel's Independence Hall.
Chicago-area teenagers spent the past week in Israel as part of the Write
On for Israel Fellowship. Sponsored
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.