Explaining Israel's Diversity on Campus

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By Julie Carmen, University of Pittsburgh student and participant on Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission After an amazing ten day experience touring Israel with my peers, I returned to the University of Pittsburgh excited and prepared to share my new knowledge with my fellow students and campus leaders.  On The David Project's first mission trip to Israel, I, as an Israel leader on campus, was able to learn about the true diversity of Israel, and how to better represent that on campus.  Approximately three weeks after returning to campus, my two Pittsburgh peers who attended the trip with me, Michael Deckebach and Sowmya Sanapala, were asked to speak at our school's Cross Cultural and Leadership Development office's social justice forum about our experiences. Speaking to a room of campus leaders, administrators, and professors allowed the three of us to not only realize exactly how much we had gained from our experiences, but also helped the professional staff on our campus to realize what a unique experience this truly was.

Once our discussion ended, Sowmya, Michael and I had an opportunity to briefly talk with Dean Humphrey, our Dean of Students at Pitt. The four of us had a chance to talk about continuing and strengthening our relationship with The David Project as a university, as well as helping to facilitate discussions between different political, ethnic, and religious organizations around the topic of Israel and its place on campus. Overall, the experience not only helped me to recognize all of the opportunities this trip allows me to use as a campus leader, but also began the greater discussion of dialogue on campus.