Forty-one American Jewish student leaders from more than 25 colleges and universities across the US met today with Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, as well as Members of Knesset and other top officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking to the students at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, Livni thanked the students for their efforts to promote Israel education and advocacy on American college campuses.
Tzipi Livni Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"I want to express my appreciation for your efforts because I know it's not easy," Foreign Minister Livni told the group.
The students presented Livni with a signed solidarity statement which articulated their support for Israel as it turns 60, and reaffirmed their commitment to raising awareness about Israel on campus through diverse pro-Israel programs. During the meeting, Livni addressed pressing issues facing Israel at this pivotal time.
"We have you fighting for Israel; we know that you are there to defend Israel, and we are here to defend you. And all together we will win," Foreign Minister Livni added in conclusion.
"As someone who throughout the years has worked as an advocate for Israel on campus, this mission was one of the highlights of my life -- being able to meet and hear from Israel's number one advocate to the world," said Harry Baumgarten, a student at The George Washington University who introduced the Foreign Minister. "It meant so much to me to see how much she valued our efforts on campus as well," Mr. Baumgarten added.
The government meetings were a highlight of the "Israel at 60" Student Leadership Mission - a 10-day student solidarity mission facilitated by the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), which is comprised of 32 national pro-Israel organizations spanning the political and religious spectrum and dedicated to promoting Israel advocacy and education on American campuses.
The participants on this high-caliber mission were nominated by ICC member organizations based on their demonstrated leadership and pro-Israel activism on campus.
During the mission, students also participated in discussions with a panel of Knesset Members; author and historian Michael B. Oren; and world-renowned Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer, as well as expert faculty panels from the University of Haifa and Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
To show their solidarity with Israel through community service, students volunteered at Aleh, a home for severely disabled children, and in the town of Dimona.
The ICC "Israel at 60" Student Leadership Mission is the first of three meetings of the newly formed ICC Student Leadership Council (SLC). Students serving on the SLC will share their insights and experiences pertaining to Israel on campus to help inform broader ICC initiatives and programs.
The ICC mission, supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, was implemented through the prism of four distinctive themes -- including solidarity though community service in a variety of communities in Israel; high-level meetings with Israeli dignitaries; educational seminars with experts on a broad range of issues; and advocacy initiatives that convey students' solidarity with Israel to their campus and community leaders in the United States.
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