Thoughts from Hillel International Israel Summit West 2023



January 20, 2023

Founded by student leaders at Harvard University, the Hillel International Israel Summit West brings together college students who are passionate about being pro-Israel leaders on their campuses. This year, Israel Summit West convened in Brandeis, California for two days of discussion, education, and connection for students leaders across the West Coast. The reflections from the student leaders below are a taste of the conversations and important thought leadership that came out of the Summit.

Celebrating the incredible group of women who spoke and led sessions at Israel Summit West! From left: Kiyomi Kowalski, April Powers, Noa Tishby, Amanda Berman, and Eden Cohen

Jasmine Beroukhim, University of California, Los Angeles (Israel Leadership Network Chair): As a graduating senior who has been passionately engaged in Israel activism throughout my collegiate career, the Hillel International Israel Summit gave me a sense of belonging. The conference was an inspiring gathering of 200 pro-Israel students from college campuses that each face unique challenges. The students were united by their shared desire to grow as fearless leaders on  campus. The experience of attending this conference gave me tremendous confidence in the future of the pro-Israel movement and reminded me how critical in-person collaboration is to drive change on our campuses.

Brandon Tavakoli, University of Southern California: I am so honored to be involved in crafting such a transformative conference at the Hillel International Israel Summit West. I have been a part of the pro-Israel movement for years, and after so many conferences and leadership experiences, I have developed my own fatigue in the space, similar to the apathy burdening Jewish students across the country. Serving as an equal thought partner to leading professionals in the space when creating this summit, I reinvigorated my passion for pro-Israel advocacy and grew refreshed as I return to my campus to fight the good fight. All in all, I am excited to see how the summit’s fostering of student-to-student exchanges will connect the pro-Israel student movement on different campuses.

Students in session with April Powers, DE&I Leader and Co-Founder of Jewbian Princess.

Dani Sobkin, University of California, Berkeley: The Israel Summit West provided me with the opportunity to connect with peers across the West Coast in real time. Together, we proposed a united curriculum to introduce on our respective campuses. Engaging speakers and insightful breakout sessions encouraged collaboration and discussion. The conclusion of the summit provided students with networking opportunities with leading professionals in the field.

Hearing from student leaders who represented campuses from across the Western United States.

Daniel Saghian, University of Californa, Riverside: Taking part in the Israel Summit West was a special and meaningful opportunity. I was able to expand my existing knowledge about the state of Israel. Collaborating with students that have different political views was a great thing and we were able to find a common ground when advocating for Israel and the Jewish community.

Excited about all things Israel Summit? Don’t miss updates from Hillel International Israel Summit East which will take place in a few weeks.

Hillel’s Israel Leadership Network
is generously supported by: 

Foundation to Combat Antisemitism
Goldring Family Foundation
Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation
Mosaic United 
William Davidson Foundation 
Woldenberg Foundation 

And thank you to our LA and Boston Summit Sponsors: 
Alan & Annette Leve Family Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles,
The Abby & Douglas Brown Family Foundation and
The Paul E. Singer Foundation.