Written by Dylan Morpurgo, our newest Campus Coordinator (starting in the summer of 2014)! It is August 2012, and I am registering thousands of students to vote. It is three months out from the presidential election, and I have one focus in my mind; student political activation. And then, in comes Israel. I was introduced to a fellow student, a Fellow with The David Project, who wanted to connect my political organization with hers, and with Israel. It started with coffee on a blistering hot and humid day in Philadelphia, and ended with an offer to travel for free to Israel. Like someone who had just been offered a free time-share in Florida in exchange for my weekend, I brushed it off as something that would never happen. Two weeks later, I was planning my January trip to the Holy Land.
Why Israel, and why The David Project? I had never given much thought to Israel beyond what I had seen on the news or heard from friends. In my mind, it made no sense that I would be offered the opportunity to travel to Israel. It wasn’t until I was in Jerusalem, fives months later, that I had an answer to both of these questions.
The David Project, through the trip and the students I traveled with, taught me how to connect with people on any issues in any area of life. We are all able to come together on something. I was introduced to a whole new world and a new love interest - Israel. In Israel, I saw everything I wished to see in my own world. Israel embodies the hopes and aspirations of all people.
Coming home, I discovered in myself a new passion. I returned to Israel six months later, and volunteered with Israelis and worked the land. I forged a connection with Israel unlike anything else I had ever experienced. Removing Israel from the news, and inserting real people with real lives and concerns, I was able to view Israel for myself, for what it really is. Israel is a nation. Israel is a people. Israel is an aspiration. Israel is a beacon. Israel is me, and I am Israel.
Combining my passion for Israel, activating college students, and working with diverse groups, I have happily and proudly accepted a position with The David Project, to continue “talking Israel” on college campuses, and ensuring that every student, Jewish or not, knows they have a place with Israel.