By Ashley Garrett, David Project Campus Coordinator
Having traveled to Israel twice as a participant for advocacy trips, I am no stranger to visiting the beautiful land of Israel. Israel Uncovered, however, will be unique in the sense that it will not only be my first time staffing a trip, but also my first time visiting Israel with such a diverse group.
In the summer of 2014 I traveled with thirty-five other fellow Christians on the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Student Advocacy Trip. This past summer I was fortunate enough to be selected as a participant in the inaugural Philos Leadership Institute. I enjoyed both experiences and I believe each endeavor brought me closer to my faith. Upon my return from Philos, I joined The David Project and once again encountered an opportunity to visit Israel.
After many meetings and interviews, we finally have an amazing group of students traveling to Israel this winter! Israel Uncovered Campus Leaders Mission 2015-2016 is such a unique opportunity for me because 240 students from all faiths and beliefs will be partaking on this wonderful journey. We do not plan to sugarcoat anything. Students will see a variety of sites and hear from a diverse range of speakers. This will really help each individual student find what personally resonates with him or her and bring that connection back to their campus.
As this is my first time staffing a trip, I am excited to help uncover the complex issues of Israel with the students. When I was a participant, I had the opportunity to not only learn about all aspects of Israeli society, but also make friends with fellow participants in addition to speak to the citizens. I look forward to these interactions the most. We have students coming from 42 universities across the nation, and this trip allows them the possibility to foster incredible relationships with peers on their campus as well as students in other states. These interactions will strengthen their relationship building skills which then leads to relational advocacy, something that we pride ourselves on here at The David Project.
All in all, Israel Uncovered Campus Leaders Mission 2015-2016 is a trip of a lifetime. Top students, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, will have the opportunity to visit a nation that excels in both innovation and progression. I have no doubt that their experiences will drive their passion to create a positive dialogue about Israel in their respected communities on campus.
Ashley Garrett is a Campus Coordinator for The David Project. Ashley joined The David Project in September 2015 and works with campuses in Washington, DC. Ashley is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia where she majored in International Affairs with a Korean Language and Literature Minor. While at UGA, Ashley served as the President of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).