US Seminars

Latino Media and Entertainment Professionals - February 2016

With a population of over 50 million, Latinos are one of the fastest growing minorities in the U.S. with strong influence on local, state and national levels. From February 24-29, Project Interchange, in collaboration with the Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA), brought a delegation of leading Latino journalists and entertainment professionals to Israel. Throughout their seminar, participants were provided with a variety of perspectives from Jewish, Arab-Israelis and Palestinian leaders. Meetings allowed these media and entertainment professionals to connect with their Israeli counterparts, offering opportunities for collaboration and information-sharing. Sessions focused on the media landscape from the Israeli and Palestinian experiences, the peace process, the ways cinema and TV tell various narratives of Israeli society, regional dynamics, and Israeli history and high-tech innovation. Also on the agenda were visits to historical and religious, both Jewish and Christian, sites and a helicopter tour to Israel’s Northern borders.

Photo Gallery: Latino Media and Entertainment Professionals - February 2016

The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation Seminar in Israel for California Student Leaders - December 2015/January 2016

Project Interchange gratefully acknowledges the generous support of The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, without whose support this seminar for California student leadership would not have been possible.

A select group of 16 California students traveled to Israel with AJC Project Interchange during their winter break. Students represented campuses throughout California, including California State University, San Diego State University, University of Southern California, University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Davis, University of California – Irvine, University of California – Los Angeles, University of California – San Diego, and University of California – Santa Cruz. All participants were campus leaders involved in interfaith/intergroup clubs and student-run newspapers, as well as local city councils, honor societies, and peer-to-peer organizations on campus. During their time in Israel, students heard a range of perspectives about Israel and the broader Middle East, including Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian voices. They engaged in sessions to help develop their leadership skills and discuss interfaith relations and intergroup collaboration, Israeli culture and diversity, Israel’s geopolitical situation, high-tech innovation, Israeli-Palestinian coexistence programs, and integration of minority communities into Israeli society.

Photo Gallery: California Student Leaders - December 2015/January 2016

Campus Media Leaders - December 2015/January 2016

AJC Project Interchange hosted a delegation of 12 U.S. students in Israel to learn about Israeli culture and diversity, high-tech innovation, integration of minorities in Israel, and the country’s geostrategic dilemmas as well as Israeli and Palestinian media reporting and coexistence programs. Throughout the week participants met with journalists who report on Middle East affairs and visited the places often highlighted in media coverage around the world. This first-hand experience has provided the students with a more informed perspective to help when engaging in discussions and reporting about Israel and the region. All students in this delegation are leaders in their campus media outlets, including print and online publications, from both public and private universities such as Brown University, Dickinson College, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Georgia, Vanderbilt University and Wellesley College.

Photo Gallery: Campus Media Leaders - December 2015/January 2016

Latino Evangelical Leaders - October 2015

In October, Project Interchange hosted a delegation of Latino evangelical leaders in Israel. The program was developed in coordination with Dr. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC), and Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, both of whom participanted in the delegation. During their week in Israel, participants met with a range of high-level religious, political and social leaders to discuss issues such as immigration, education, and coexistence programs.

Photo Gallery: Latino Evangelical Leaders - October 2015

Law School Students - May 2015

Dates: May 25 - June 1, 2015

A delegation of 20 law school students, encompassing students from Cornell, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard and Yale, traveled to Israel with Project Interchange for a week of discussions with their Israeli counterparts and leading industry experts. This seminar, conducted during the last week of May, was sponsored by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Maimonides Fund.

While in Israel, the students met with some of Israel’s top attorneys and had in depth discussions about national security law, international law, law and technology and constitutional law. Sessions throughout the week provided these elite law students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Israel’s legal framework, institutions and political structures, while making meaningful connections. Speakers included Daniel Reisner, Head of Public International Law, Defense and Homeland Security at Herzog, Fox and Neeman who discussed the reality of international law; George Deek, attorney and veteran of the Israeli Diplomatic Corps addressed how, as a Christian Israeli Arab, he decided to become a diplomat and represent Israel around the world; Barry Levenfeld, Senior Partner at Yigal Arnon & Co., spoke about the laws governing the “Start-Up Nation” phenomenon and how they are similar to US laws; and former Chief Justice Dorit Benisch, discussed her time on the Supreme Court.

The group was accompanied by Mark Yudof, former President of the University of California and PI alumnus. Mark played a critical advisory role in shaping the program content and met with the group in Israel.

The delegation left Israel with a more nuanced appreciation for Israel’s complexities, history and current successes and challenges. One participant remarked, “Israel moved from theoretical to tangible. I will think about the people I have met and the places I saw when I hear about Israel on the news.”

Photo Gallery: Law School Students - May 2015

Latino Media Leaders - April 2015

A delegation of influential, Spanish-language Latino journalists from Miami, a hub to Latin America and the Latino community in the United States, visited Israel in April 2015 with Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee). This initiative was made possible through the leadership and support of AJC’s Latin American Task Force-Miami and was conducted in collaboration with AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA).

Throughout their week in Israel, participants learned about Israeli media, politics, society and diversity, as well as the country’s technological innovation and the geopolitical challenges facing the region. Participants met with distinguished speakers and experts in their field. They met with members of the current government at the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), learned about security concerns from the North to South, and met both Arab Israelis and Palestinians leaders.

The delegation also visited historic and religious locations of importance in the Galilee and Bethlehem, as well as an exceptionally impactful visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, which many participants noted was “one of the more moving experiences of the seminar.” Another highlight was the delegation’s discussion with Henrique Cymerman, Middle East & International Affairs Expert, who spoke at great length about Israel’s strategic environment through the eyes of the media. Participants commented that “his knowledge of the Middle East and explanations were very helpful.”

Photo Gallery: Latino Media Leaders - April 2015

Miami Entrepreneurs - March 2015

Dates: March 22 - 28, 2015

A delegation of 12 influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community visited Israel in March 2015 with Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC, to learn from the country’s thriving tech and innovation sector while sharing best practices and networking with their peers. The experience was supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Throughout their week in Israel, these entrepreneurs met with Israeli tech leaders and innovators, including Dr. Yossi Vardi, Vice President at Yalla.co.il, Professor Hossam Haick, Head of the Laboratory for Nanomaterial-Based Devices at the Technion (Israel’s Institute for Technology) and Riman Barakat, a prominent Palestinian entrepreneur. Specific highlights of the trip included a meeting with Enon Landenberg, founder of sFBI (small Factory Big Ideas), a session with Dr. Danny Gold, inventor of the Iron Dome and a panel with influential high-tech leaders (such as Roy Wiesrler, CEO Hutchison-Kinrot Company and Rim Younis, Co-Founder of Alfa-Omega Industry in Nazareth). Participants expanded their knowledge by gaining exposure to the highly diverse tech sector in Israel, which has helped fuel and sustains rapid economic growth in Israel. The best practices and strategies learned during the seminar will be valuable additions to the Miami tech landscape and economy.

Photo Gallery: Miami Entrepreneurs - March 2015

Latino Media and Entertainment Professionals Seminar - February 2015

Dates: February 22 - 28, 2015

In February 2015, a pioneering delegation of American Latino film producers, writers, and stage actors visited Israel under the auspices of Project Interchange in cooperation with AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA). During the program, participants learned about the Israel film and art industries and explored possible joint ventures with their Israeli counterparts.

Highlights throughout this week in Israel included meetings with leading directors and producers in Israel, such as Shira Geffen, a playwright, director, children’s author, and actress, Hagai Levi, film and television director, writer, editor, producer and critic, Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin, Arab film director and producer, and Dorit Inbar, General Manager of the Israeli New Foundation for Cinema and Television. Participants also broadened their knowledge of Israel by learning about Israel’s diverse society, complicated political system, its technology and entrepreneurial successes as a Start-Up Nation, and geostrategic challenges.

Photo Gallery: Latino Media & Entertainment Professionals - February 2015

Campus Media Leaders Seminar - December 2014/January 2015

Dates: December 28, 2014 - January 4, 2015

A delegation of 13 students from across the country traveled to Israel with PI over winter break to learn about Israel- its people, culture, and geostrategic dilemmas. All students were leaders in their campus media outlets- whether radio, TV, print, or online- from both private and public universities such as Duke University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Georgia, University of Pennsylvania, and Wellesley College.

Throughout the week, the delegation examined complex issues facing Israel and the region, specifically through the lens of the media. Read more »

The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation Seminar in Israel for California Student Leaders - December 2014/January 2015

Dates: December 28, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Project Interchange gratefully acknowledges the generous support of The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, without whose support this seminar for California student leadership would not have been possible.

A select group of 12 student leaders traveled to Israel with PI over their winter break. The delegation included student government and club leaders from private and public universities across California, including Stanford University, University of California- Los Angeles, University of California - Berkeley, San Diego State University, and University of Southern California.

Only a few months after the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, the delegation learned about complex geostrategic and political challenges facing Israel and the region. Participants also met with Israeli students, government officials, civic leaders, and journalists to learn more about Israel’s current societal and economic challenges and successes, its cultural and religious diversity, and its vibrant – sometimes challenging- democracy. Participants also visited the Old City of Jerusalem, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Tel Aviv Gay Center, and enjoyed ATV rides through the Judean desert. Read more »