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Project Interchange

Since 1982, AJC Project Interchange has brought approximately 6,000 of the world’s most influential voices to Israel from more than 100 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

Through its week-long seminars, Project Interchange exposes diverse leaders of today and tomorrow to the complex issues facing Israeli society.

An educational institute of AJC, Project Interchange relies on donors who support its unique purpose and the measurable results its programs yield.

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Upcoming Seminars

U.S. University Leaders - December 2017

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Impact

Alumnus Analyzes India-Israel Relationship

“The India-Israel bilateral partnership contiunes to reach unprecendented heights.”

Harvard South Asia Institute Affiliate and AJC Project Interchange Alumnus Ronak Desai (Indian American Media and Policy Leaders 2012) analyzes the Indian-Israel relationship ahead of Prime Minister Benajim Netanyahu’s visit to India. Read more.

Media Coverage

The Jerusalem Post: US Mayors Bond with Israel

NY Jewish Life, OpEd by Syracuse (NY) Mayor Stephanie Miner: A Belief in Delivering the Promised Land

Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel: What Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero Learned in Israel

Knoxville Mayor’s Overseas Trip Teaches Strong Lessons; Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero went overseas to Israel with a group of mayors from across the country

Technion and Cornell University Open Joint Campus in New York

We are immensely proud to have introduced Cornell’s president to Technion’s in 2010 on the AJC Project Interchange University Presidents seminar. The new joint campus brings together the mastery of Technion, which is synonymous with the “start-up nation,” and Cornell’s long-standing expertise in engineering and computer science. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University inaugurated their joint campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island Sept. 14 as part of their academic partnership, which began six years ago. In 2011, the collaboration was named the winner of then-mayor Mike Bloomberg’s visionary applied sciences competition, the goal of which was diversifying the economy and creating a national hub for tech. The brainchild of this initiative was the Technion-Cornell Institute, a cornerstone of Cornell Tech, which is a graduate school of Cornell University. Read more here.

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Alumni in the News

Georgia State Univ. President Mark Becker visits Israeli universities

The Signal, GA State University

Early December, Georgia State University President Mark Becker visited Israel to gain insight on the practices of its universities and colleges and create a better relationship between them and Georgia State.

The trip was sponsored by a nonprofit educational institute of the American Jewish Committee known as Project Interchange, who have hosted other seminars in Israel in the past, all aimed to bring community leaders together to share ideas and create solutions to local problems. Becker was accompanied by five other university and college presidents from California State University Northridge, Hunter College, New College of Florida, San José State University and Wake Forest University. The visit was primarily exploratory, according to Becker, and was the first one that he had ever taken to Israel.

Throughout the visit, the university presidents gathered information regarding the more specific practices that Israeli universities and colleges use to excel, such as local techniques and curriculums. The American group of presidents were able to meet with the deans and presidents from Bar Ilan University, Ono Academic College, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, the University of Haifa, and Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art where they shared ideas and procedures.

The university president shared his opinion on what he thought of the overall status of education in Israel. “Not all elements of society benefit from higher education,” Becker said, adding that he hopes that the gap between Israel and Palestine will close so that everyone in the region will be able to access that higher education. However, he said that the conversations with the other presidents were “forthcoming and open” and that he was “hopeful that progress will be made” in the future.

President Becker said he hopes to take what was learned regarding the various practices and procedures of these Israeli universities and colleges back to the deans of Georgia State. One of the areas of discussion that Becker wished to pursue is the establishment of study abroad programs between Georgia State’s colleges and those in Israel. Because the trip was preliminary, Becker stated that it would take some time before these programs were well established.

While in Israel, Becker also had the opportunity to meet with Palestinian officials as well during which time he discussed the relations between Israel and Palestine. “Diversity is a main topic of conversation,” Becker said.

Media

AJC Project Interchange participant Palki Sharma wrote the following reflection of her experience in Israel:

There is an Israel beyond the gunfire

Carrot juice and gunfire

Israel is a country that stuns you with its beauty and incongruity. And that’s an understatement. Our chopper (called BDS, not weird at all!) landed on Mount Bental in the Golan Heights. It’s a dormant volcano where lava seeps from the base and not the top of the mountain, leaving the soil around it rich with minerals. There are lush vineyards as far as the eye can see. The Instagram happy lot had just turned on their selfie cameras when we were beckoned to the other side.

There was a UN convoy practicing a drill. The young Irish officers refused to talk. But a few minutes down the road we met more soldiers, men, and women, resting with their backpacks and machine guns, lying under olive trees, posing for cameras. War, perhaps, is just a state of mind for some.

Continue reading.

Palki Sharma traveled to Israel for the AJC’s Project Interchange 2017.

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