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Why I Love Write On for Israel, by Norah Kopolow

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Write On for Israel is an intensive yearlong fellowship that empowers students to make a tangible impact on their future college campuses and beyond. The Write On fellowship includes immersive travel to Washington, DC, and Israel, where they turn their passion into effective leadership. This fellowship brings in experts in history, current events, politics, and campus affairs to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to articulate their own perspectives about Israel. Fellows gain critical thinking, historical fluency, and strategic communication skills; doing so empowers them to move forward well equipped to master college classes, campus life, and challenges well beyond. Write On for Israel is for juniors and seniors and is a one-year cohort.; Learn more and apply at JUF.org/WriteOn.

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Write On for Israel (WOFI) has been an intense yet rewarding program that has equipped me with numerous valuable skills. During monthly meetings, my peers and I learn about current events in Israel and in our own backyards. We take situations from the Government in Israel to Universities around the United States and are informed and educated about them. We analyze these situations and even come up with our own solutions and possible plans of action for them. We learn how to effectively communicate with adults and those in positions of power to successfully advocate for our views regarding Israel.

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Throughout the program, my peers and I are able to learn and grow together as we acquire our new skills. We are given opportunities to work in groups together, and experience peer review to grow together. A unique aspect to WOFI that cannot really be found elsewhere is getting a close look at the parallel histories between Israel and Palestine. We are able to learn each side to large events in history, all the way from the Balfour Declaration to the First Intifada we are given a well-rounded view on Israel. WOFI is also a safe space for my peers and I to freely share our opinions without being judged. During discussions, we are able to build off of what we share with each other to form our own views and we learn how to respect the views of others.

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In the spring, we have the amazing opportunity to lobby members of Congress, and later in June, we travel to Israel for meetings with a wide range of people, from authors to Knesset members. From in-depth looks into the history of Israel to learning about current challenges on college campuses, WOFI has provided me with what I need to successfully contribute to campus discussions and general interactions with my peers regarding Israel.

Norah Kopolow

About the Author: Norah Kopolow is a junior at Champaign Central High School in Champaign, Illinois. She enjoys participating in band and other extra curricular activities such as Girls Who Code and Model UN. She attends Sinai Temple where she is a Madricha for Kindergarten and Pre-K, and helps teach Hebrew to elementary aged kids. 

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