The Cornerstone of Advocacy

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Danny Becker joined The David Project in January 2015. His portfolio of schools include those in New York City, New Jersey, and Nashville. Born and raised in southeast Michigan, Danny graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Comparative Cultures and Politics & International Relations. While at Michigan State, Danny was an active member in many student organizations and leadership positions during his undergraduate years, including in student government. Danny participated in our second Israel Uncovered mission to Israel in January 2014. He is pictured at left with students from this year's #IsraelUncovered trip. There is a lot of heart involved in Israel advocacy, but it can also be seen as an equation. There are a multitude of variables and each come together to create something new. My relationship with The David Project has now brought me full circle, and I have now embodied every variable in that discussion: I have been the focus of outreach and engagement, having been a campus leader and member of the 2013-2014 Israel Uncovered Campus Leaders Mission; I have been the student intern, representing the organization at Michigan State University and conducting outreach activities as an Israel advocate; and now I am here today, as a David Project campus coordinator myself, leading interns and campus leaders from campuses across New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

Traveling to my campuses for the first time has been both exciting and terrifyingly nerve-wracking. I can be a nervous guy at times, and I’m usually thinking, re-thinking, and overthinking every part of my day. This has made the preparations for all of my trips both extremely thorough and quite stressful. Every thought runs through my head: What if my baggage gets lost? What do I do if I can’t find a parking spot at Rutgers’ Hillel? What do I do if I get a parking ticket or towed? What if I lose the rental car?!

However, I am quickly learning that, thanks in part to the great preparation here in Boston as well as the amazing students and professionals I am working with, I am fast becoming comfortable with my travel plans and the on-the-road life of a campus coordinator. I know I will be supported every step of the way – whether it is in the form of practicing my training sessions with my amazing supervisors and the veteran coordinators, or the wonderful Israel fellows on campus who I can reach out to with anything, like translating new phrases I come across in Hebrew!

That is one thing that I have learned throughout my time with and at The David Project: Support is the cornerstone to advocacy. A team atmosphere facilitates everything from emotional support to troubleshooting opportunities, which allows for everyone in the process to do the very best they can. Looking back, I can now fully appreciate just how vital my team of interns at Michigan State really was to the successes that we shared. Without those individuals, who have now become some of my best friends and even call me to make sure I am prepared for work (don’t worry, I ironed my clothes for the week already Ilana!), I would never have reached the advocacy achievements that I now hope to duplicate with my new interns, fellows, and outreach committees. I aim to be a part of their team, and remind them that community and collaboration brings advocacy to a new level of success! Teamwork really does make the dream work!

Now that everything is coming together for me, I can continue to say that The David Project is amazing in so many ways. I see this organization as being at the forefront of advocacy, utilizing relational advocacy to create the vital interpersonal and institutional relationships that we need around the world to make that hazy term “peace” really come about. I could not be more excited to continue to make my impact in the history of the State of Israel, and continue to touch the hearts and minds of many students who, like myself, are seeking ways to get to know and get involved with the complicated, complex organism that is Israel.