Our students do incredible work of bridging divides between groups from every corner of campus. Sometimes it isn’t easy and sometimes it takes years to establish relationships between communities built in trust, mutual respect and support, and allyship. At the 2016 Relationship Building Institute, we make sure that students get to hear about and learn from one another’s successes and challenges. Students on our Student Community Panels will speak about how they reached out and built relationships with a specific group, and the significance that building relationships with other student groups has had to them personally, the entire community, and for Israel on campus.
Here’s a taste of what some of them are speaking about:
Israel Uncovered and David Project have made such an impact on me and how I see myself. I went to a Jewish day school all my life, where I learned about Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people historically and today. As I saw it, Israel was mine, and I loved it, and appreciated those who supported it. Through The David Project, I realized I was wrong. Israel is so much more than a homeland for the Jewish people. With its Christian and Muslim holy sites, booming tech industry, and progressive stances towards groups that face discrimination worldwide, Israel is so much more than the Kotel. Supporters of Israel are not just doing me a favor.
Since The David Project, I've joined a group of students, faculty, and administration with the goal of bridging the gap between the Jewish and Muslim communities on campus. I now believe that these efforts are the ones that will bring peace. Making friends. Understanding others on a human level. Finding our commonalities (because there are lots of them). In a world dominated by data-driven and scientific thought, religion is slowly turning from a source of division into one of sympathy and support, and David Project has shown me how to take advantage of that shift.
Looking forward to many more David Project successes to come.
-Alan Menaged, Carnegie Mellon University, Christian Community Panel
The David Project's Relational Advocacy model has influenced College Republicans through a joint effort of multiple e-boarders reaching out to other political groups on campus (particularly ones with opposing views) in order to create more dialogue on critical issues. So far we haven't succeeded in gaining cooperation with other groups, but the concept still lives on with our next year's e-board.
-Jake Klein, University of Michigan, College Republicans Panel