Rhodes Scholars from South Africa and U.S. Visiting Israel

March 18th, 2015

Contact:
U.S.: Myra Clark-Siegel, clarksiegelm@projectinterchange.org
Israel: Avital Leibovich, leibovicha@ajc.org

Rhodes Scholars from South Africa and U.S. Visiting Israel
12th Annual Delegation of Prestigious Rhodes Scholars in Israel with AJC’s Project Interchange to Learn About Israeli Innovation, Diversity, and Complexities First-Hand

(Jerusalem, Israel) – Despite recent anti-Israel incidents on several university campuses, a delegation of Rhodes Scholars from South Africa and the United States is currently in Israel with Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee). The Rhodes Scholars, the 12th delegation of its kind by Project Interchange, will participate in a week-long educational experience that will include wide-ranging discussions on such topics as Israeli politics and society, Israel’s expertise in technology and innovation, Israeli-Palestinian coexistence programs, and integration of minorities into society. The participants, all graduate students at Oxford University, are Rhodes Scholarship recipients, one of the world’s most prestigious international graduate scholarships.

The trip itinerary is tailored to the specific interests of the delegation and is intended to provide a first-hand overview of Israel’s diversity, its vibrant culture, challenges and accomplishments, and its often-times complicated reality.

Delegation participants have already made significant contributions in their individual fields, including: developing a smart water system in rural Kenya, founding an organization to enroll the uninsured in affordable health insurance, and dissertation research with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency to understand how emerging technology can be harnessed by the intelligence community.

Throughout the week, the Rhodes Scholars will travel across Israel, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Sderot, for a first-hand look at the country. The group will meet with influential figures and officials across business, media, academia and politics, learn about Israel’s startup economy by visiting sFBI (Small Factory Big Ideas), meet with Israeli journalists, travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leaders, and meet with professors and students from Israeli universities.

Discussions will range from Israel’s strategic environment to the country’s position as a worldwide high tech leader, to sharing best practices on fostering economic development and absorption and integration of immigrant and minority communities. Sessions dealing with diversity are on the agenda, including Israeli high-tech initiatives fostering Arab-Jewish coexistence.

Robin Levenston, Executive Director of Project Interchange, stated, “Project Interchange is delighted to welcome our 12th annual Rhodes Scholars program to Israel. The first-hand experience gained during this trip will help enhance the participants’ understanding of Israel’s complexities, and will also provide these international scholars the opportunity to learn together and engage in in-depth discussions with renowned experts. As the topics being explored by the Rhodes Scholars are also key priorities for Israel, we hope these future decision-makers will return home with an enhanced understanding of Israel’s challenges and its achievements.”

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About Project Interchange
For over 30 years, Project Interchange, a nonprofit educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee) has brought over 6,000 influential figures to Israel from 85 countries and all 50 U.S. states, offering them broad exposure and firsthand understanding of the complex issues facing Israel and the region. projectinterchange.org

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