ROSE PROJECT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL Co-Chairs Jeffrey H. Margolis James Weiss, MD Members Steven L. Edwards Shalom C. Elcott Jay S. Feldman Douglas K. Freeman Philip N. Kaplan Eugene Spiritus, MD Gerald Solomon Lisa Armony, Director www.JewishOrange County.org/Rose
In its first major academic initiative with Israel since signing agreements with four Israeli universities last March, UCI hosted a landmark conference that brought engineering professors and students together to examine the impact communications technology will have on global society in the future. “Communications and Information Technology 2025,” co-sponsored by UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering, with funding from the Rose Project, allowed scholars to share research in the areas of mobile technologies, hardware and storage, cloud technologies and embedded systems and to examine how their work will help meet the needs of the projected 8 billion people expected to inhabit the globe in just 10 years. The conference also provided a venue for Israeli and U.S. professors and the Orange County business community to explore opportunities for academic collaboration, new products and spinoff companies. Henry Samueli School of Engineering Dean Gregory Washington said conversations that took place during the twoday event served as a launching ground for more joint initiatives between the two schools.
Jewish Federation & Family Services is grateful to our partners and investors who have made possible the development and impact of the Rose Project. Ernest & Irma Rose Foundation Margolis Family Foundation Adam & Gila Milstein Family Foundation Michael & Amy Morhaime Samueli Foundation Robert & Linda Yellin
TAU Professor Yosi Shacham shares his research with community members.
The conference was preceded by a community event organized by the Rose Project that brought 500 people to the Samueli Jewish Campus to learn about and celebrate the new UCI-Israel partnerships. “From Bluetooth to Brain Waves” featured a panel of distinguished speakers including Consul General of Israel David Siegel, Broadcom Corp. CEO and philanthropist Henry Samueli and Gregory Washington, and moderated by Rose Project Co-Chair Jeffrey Margolis, all of whom have played a key role in spurring UCI-Israeli collaboration.
Rose Project Co-Chairs James Weiss and Jeffrey Margolis, Israeli Consul General David Siegel, Broadcom CEO Henry Sameuli, Dean Gregory Washington and Samueli Foundation Exec. Dir. Gerald Solomon at the community event, “From Bluetooth to Brain Waves.”
Taking the audience on a journey from turbulent times for Israel at UCI to today’s collaborative environment, Margolis spoke of the importance the Rose Project has placed on developing academic ties between UCI and Israel and the dramatic effect that strategy has had in changing the climate for Israel on campus. He recalled a 2011 meeting between the Rose Council leadership and Siegel at Israel’s Foreign Ministry which shaped that strategy and led ultimately to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake’s mission to Israel in March to sign academic agreements. Consul General Siegel said that Israel’s long term relationships will be based on collaboration with local entities in scientific fields such as biotech, food security and environmental issues. Emerging relations between UCI and Israel, he said, are an incredible model for the rest of the country. Samueli’s discussion focused on his connections to Israeli via Broadcom and the impact Israeli innovation has had on the high tech industry. Those relationships, he said, inspired him to establish a $2 million endowment at UCI to fund academic exchanges with Israel as a positive way to counter anti-Israel activity on campus. A member of UCI’s academic delegation to Israel in March, Washington said he was surprised by, and impressed with, the entrepreneurial spirit he saw among Israelis and that he quickly understood that UCI and Israel universities shared synergies that would facilitate collaboration. He said that he has been overwhelmed by the support from the Orange County Jewish community for UCI’s partnerships with Israel, which is critical to their success. The discussion was followed by a series of presentations by Dr. Eran Socher, Prof. Yosi Shacham, Prof. Alexander Bronstein and Dr. Amir Boag from Tel Aviv University, who shared their cutting edge research in the areas of new media, point of care medicine, advanced antennas and higher speed communication systems, and the impact these technologies will have on the way we communicate in the future.
MESSAGE FROM THE CO-CHAIRS Followers of Jewish life on college campuses were hardly surprised by the findings of the UC Jewish Student Campus Climate Report released in July. Investigators found UC Jewish students enjoy thriving communities, with full access to campus services, and many opportunities to explore their Jewish identity. At the same time, anti-Israel activity continues to present a challenge on some campuses, leaving students feeling isolated at times, and often impeding their ability to engage with other student groups. To prevent Jewish students from being marginalized, the fact-finding team urged the UC system to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism and to seek opportunities to prohibit hate and anti-Semitic speech, and those who promulgate it, from campus. A groundswell of controversy ensued, pitting proponents of a hate speech ban against student and community groups warning that free speech and academic freedom were at risk. And while those involved in efforts to delegitimize Israel on campus were among the recommendation’s loudest opponents, opposition likewise came from some of the UC’s most committed student
advocates for Israel. These students are unwilling to compromise First Amendment protections, even when those protections subject them to speech that tears at the core of their identity. It is precisely in an atmosphere of unhindered expression that the pro-Israel campus community has made some of its biggest strides. A report issued last month by the American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) on anti-Israel activity on U.S. campuses confirmed what we in Orange County have witnessed at UCI for the past two years: a dramatically changed climate for Israel with fewer incidents of delegitimization and rhetoric that has been remarkably toned down. Despite its troubling past, UCI was not among the top 10 campuses with the most anti-Israel activities last year, according to the AICE. In this new environment, Jewish students are developing impactful, pro-Israel programming that engages their peers in dialog about Israel that has nothing to do with politics or conflict. Meanwhile, UCI administrators, under the bold leadership of Chancellor Michael Drake, are championing civility, and have taken the historic step of developing academic
partnerships with Israeli universities that will have a positive, long-term effect on the perception of Israel on campus. This profound transformation is the result of a determined, community strategy that seeks, not to ban speech, but to overwhelm bad speech with good. As you will see in this inaugural newsletter, the Rose Project is committed to empowering Jewish students at UCI, Chapman University and Cal State Fullerton to engage in positive, proactive advocacy, to advancing the Jewish student experience, and to supporting programs and activities that change the dialogue about Israel on campus. Delegitimizers will continue to seek platforms on which to promulgate their anti-Israel agenda, but so too will we continue our efforts to create a positive climate for Israel, the results of which will speak far louder than any hateful rhetoric we may witness on campus or elsewhere.
Jeffrey H. Margolis Co-Chair, Rose Project
James M. Weiss, MD Co-Chair, Rose Project
OC STUDENTS ATTEND SUMMER TRAINING PROGRAMS WITH SUPPORT FROM ROSE Providing students with the best Israel education and advocacy training is a cornerstone of the Rose Project’s mission to empower Jewish student leadership and self-sufficiency. These opportunities, offered in partnership with leading Israel advocacy organizations, strengthen students’ connections to, and love for, Israel, and instill the skills and knowledge they need to confront delegitimization of Israel and to create proactive, positive, Israel programming on campus.
This summer, the Rose Project provided funding for 11 students to attend Israel education and advocacy programs in Israel and the U.S.
Chapman Student Reflects on Birthright Israel For many Jewish college students, Birthright is their first experience in Israel and the spark that ignites their passion for becoming leaders in their Jewish communities. Chapman and Cal State Fullerton Hillel Director Sarah Austin accompanied nearly 40 OC college students on their Birthright trip, where together, they explored Israel, experienced Jewish and Israeli history and culture, and developed life-long
...“Birthright was a journey of spiritual and personal development that strengthened my Jewish identity”
bonds to the land and its people. Joining the trip was Rose Project grant recipient Allison Schneider, a sophomore at Chapman University and current Hillel program chair. “Birthright was a journey of spiritual and personal development that strengthened my Jewish identity,” she said. Among the highlights, Allison recalled her visit to Tzfat where the group spontaneously came together in song and prayer. She also enjoyed learning Israeli folk dancing, and has coordinated an Israeli dancing night on campus. Her goals this year are to recruit students for the next Birthright trip in December and to continue to take on leadership roles at Hillel.
CSUF & UCI Brothers Attend AEPi Convention The Rose Project provided subsidies to four AEPi brothers from Cal State Fullerton and three from UCI to attend the fraternity’s national convention in Phoenix in August. The four-day event offered intensive leadership development and Israel advocacy training to more than 500 undergraduate students from five countries. Workshops provided participants with opportunities to learn key skills including how to strengthen their chapters through effective recruitment and programming, and how to become strong Jewish voices on their campuses. Brothers from Fullerton said they found the Israel education seminars to be particularly helpful as they planned their own Israel advocacy workshops on campus this year. On another note, JFFS President and CEO Shalom C. Elcott, Consul General of Israel David Siegel, and philanthropist and Rose Project partner Adam Milstein were among 16 prominent Jewish leaders to be inducted as honorary AEPi brothers at the convention.
Hasbara Fellowships UCI Anteaters for Israel (AFI) President Naomi Warfield and AFI board member Shawhin Beroukhim travelled to Israel in July for 16 days of intensive,
pro-Israel education as Hasbara Fellows. Now in its 11th year, Hasbara Fellowships trains hundreds of college students annually to be effective Israel educators on their campuses and helps them strategize and implement programming and relationship building with key student groups when they return to campus. While in Israel, the UCI fellows met with residents of Sderot and toured the city with its Media Center Director, Noam Bedein. The visit helped the students understand the daily pressures of living in Israel’s south due to ongoing rocket attacks from militants in Gaza.
Israel on Demand Naomi Warfield and OC Hillel’s Israel Fellow Eran Hoch joined their peers from 20 select campuses for Israel on Demand: Advanced Training for Israel Activists sponsored by the David Project and held at Harvard University. Though a series of meetings and workshops with Israel scholars and advocacy experts, the students developed strategic plans to guide their Israel advocacy and programming activities for the coming academic year.
SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS ARRIVE AT UCI The first three recipients of the Rabbi Allen Krause Memorial Scholarship and Hillel Jewish Student Leadership Scholarships arrived at UCI in September ready to embark on their undergraduate careers. Freshmen David Friedman, a graduate of LA’s Yeshiva University High School, Sharon Shaoulian from Newport Harbor High School, and Rachel Weiner of Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, were selected from among 40 applicants throughout California. Launched in 2012 as a joint initiative of the Rose Project and Hillel Foundation of Orange County, this competitive program provides up to four $5,000 renewable scholarships to incoming UCI Jewish students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their local Jewish and non-Jewish communities. The program is designed to recruit outstanding Jewish students to UCI and to support them as they pursue a leadership track within the campus Jewish community. Applications for the 2013-2014 scholarships will be available this winter. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDICAL STUDENT EXCHANGE
...the UCIBGU med student exchange is one of the first programs to be implemented between UCI and Israel since UCI signed agreements with four Israeli universities last March
Partners on Campus
UCI second-year medical students Lori Burns and Elizabeth Tribelhorn studied internal medicine in July at Beer Sheva’s Soroka Hospital, part of the school’s new med student exchange program with Ben Gurion University (BGU). For three weeks, the students shadowed Israeli doctors on rounds, learned to take patient histories, and saw the hospital’s diverse patient population, which includes Israeli Arabs and Jews as well as people from surrounding countries who come to Israel for treatment they can’t get at home. Weekends were spent hiking up Masada, rafting on the Jordan River, visiting a kibbutz, and touring many historical and natural attractions. Tribelhorn particularly enjoyed seeing biblical sites like the Church of the Annunciation and Sea of Galilee, which she had learned about in religious school. She said she never realized how many tourists Israel attracts, and that she had not expected to feel as safe and comfortable as she did. She called the experience “once in a lifetime” and said she will recommend the program to her UCI classmates. Developed by UCI Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Chairman Dr. Zeev Kain, the UCI-BGU med student exchange is one of the first programs to be implemented between UCI and Israel since UCI signed agreements with four Israeli universities last March. With funding from the Rose Project, Israeli students will study at UCI this spring. The program provides students with unique educational experiences outside their home universities, along with opportunities to develop greater understanding of communities they are visiting. For UCI students, that means an opportunity to engage with Israelis on issues of mutual interest and to develop a connection to the country based on shared experiences.
LOOK AHEAD: AHEAD: ISRAEL ISRAEL AA LOOK FACULTY COMING COMING TO TO OC OC FACULTY The Rose Project, in cooperation with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, will welcome three Israel educators to UCI this year. Dr. Anat Maor lectures in contemporary Israeli politics, social and economic policies and women’s issues at Israel’s Open University and the Ruppin Academic Center. A former Meretz Knesset member and Knesset Deputy Speaker, Maor will teach undergraduate courses in UCI’s political science department during the winter and spring quarters as the Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor. Post-doctoral student Jacob Jaffe will also join the department in January 2013. A 2011-2012 AICE– Schusterman Israel Scholar Award recipient, Jaffe specializes in international relations, political theory and Middle East politics. Israeli choreographer Idan Sharabi and his assistant, Niv Marinberg, will be Artists in Residence in UCI’s dance department during the spring quarter. A graduate of Juliard, Sharabi has danced with numerous companies including Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company and the Nederlands Dance Theater. His original dances were performed in seven countries last year. During their stay, Idan and Niv will teach dance students and have opportunities to engage with faculty and the local community. The visiting professor and artist in residence programs bring a unique, first-hand perspective on Israel to the campus and broader Orange County communities. The programs are funded by grants from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Rose Project of JFFS. All visiting faculty are available to speak to groups throughout Orange County. For more information, contact Rose@jffs.org.
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Inaugural newsletter of the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services.