Talking to someone you don’t know is challenging – just ask anyone who’s been on a first date. Talking to someone you don’t know about Israel, however, can be even more difficult. Those obstacles are why we created an Israel advocacy speed dating workshop at Israel on Demand that combined our students’ passion for sharing their love for Israel with the conversational pressure of first dates.
In the workshop – the capstone exercise at Israel On Demand – students meet with five different campus leaders (played by The David Project's staff members) separately and have 10 minutes to talk to each one before switching to talk to the next.
This program gives students the opportunity to apply everything they learned throughout the seminar. Each “campus leader” represented different campus organizations, such as the business group, LGBTQ group, and the student union, and students had the chance to quickly build a relationship with them. The workshop gave the students a hands-on experience to try talking about Israel, and they thrived in the setting. Students were able to take what they learned about relationship building to a whole new level as they finished the session feeling confident and satisfied. One student mentioned the speed dating workshop was a “great idea to put what we learned to the test!” Another stated that they were “glad to be able to practice learned skills.”
Advocacy speed dating was a successful program and the beginning of what we expect will be a brand new type of advocacy on campus. Starting this semester and beyond, we will be helping students take their speed dating skills back to campus where they will engage their peers via personal advocacy in one-on-one conversations. I look forward to seeing our students use the confidence gained from speed dating and harnessing it to impact campus discourse on Israel.