In Their Words

Syed Zishan Haider, Indian Muslim Delegation

My attitude [towards Israel] was completely negative but nowhas changed a lot after meeting and interacting with theJewish people.

Rev. Will Tyrell, Christian Clergy

The many voices that I heard from were articulate and honest presentations of the lived reality of Israelis - Jews and Arabs, Muslim, Christian and Druze.

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, State Elected Officials

Project Interchange is the single greatest educational experience of my career and my life. It validated my beliefs that Israel’s existence and leadership is vital to obtaining peace in the Middle East.

Meghan Sims, Campus Media Seminar

The seminar humanized these issues in a way no research, college course, or newspaper piece could have, and it clarified for me exactly how complex the issues at stake in this region really are.

Vehbi Bajrami, American Muslim Leaders

[The seminar experience] will help to improve the vision of the newspaper that I run on Israel and Middle Eastern issues, and I intend to write a series of stories on this trip.

Lonnie Bunch, Leadership of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture

The museums of Israel were quite important in helping to shape our thinking about the newest Smithsonian museum. Yad Vashem taught me about the need and challenge of humanizing great tragedy.

Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Pacific Islanders Seminar

The program, true to its aims, did build bridges of understanding, at all different levels.

Grenada Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Hood, Caribbean Foreign Ministers

As a Minister of Government, the seminar has opened my eyes to the problems faced here [in Israel] and will help me to interact more meaningfully in decision-making regarding the region.

Dr. David Skorton, Cornell University, University Presidents

The range of successes, opportunities, and seemingly intractable issues we have experienced during the first 72 hours of our Project Interchange U.S. presidents’ travel seminar in Israel is staggering. Each scene reflects the realities of what was proudly described to us as a ‘modern, Western, Middle Eastern, democratic, Jewish state’ of 7.5 million people, smaller in area than the state of New Jersey.

Yiyi Chen, Chinese Academic Leaders

I’m quite impressed by the frank insight into Israel and the Middle East that we do not normally get through the global media.

Wade Henderson, Civil Rights Leaders

President, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

As an American civil rights leader, seeing the complexities of Israel firsthand provided a direct learning experience for me and my American colleagues. I can’t imagine a better or more thoughtful introduction to Israel than what I encountered with Project Interchange!

Klaus Botzet, German Civic and Policy Leaders

Head of the USA and Canada Division, German Federal Foreign Office

The seminar has tripled my knowledge about Israel, the peace process, and the political dilemmas and constraints. I will use this knowledge in my work as a diplomat in many ways.

Chief Russell Hamill, US Counterterrorism

Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department

Many police executives go to the FBI National Academy and consider that the best law enforcement experience of their life - well this week is up there with that.

Aske Denning, Scandinavian Students of Journalism

Graduate Student of Journalism, Danish School of Media and Journalism

I have a better understanding of how to write balanced journalism on Israel/Palestine issues.

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, Civil Rights Leaders

President, Interfaith Alliance

My trip to Israel sponsored by Project Interchange erased stereotypes, challenged prejudices, created new friendships,… introduced new realities, disturbed my desire for simplicity, increased my appreciation for the power of religion, … evoked prayers for peace, and made me want to journey to Israel again.


For more Project Interchange quotes from past seminar participants, click here.