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All I could think about after returning from my year studying in Israel was how I could get involved in advocating for my homeland on my university campus. My years at Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Arie Crown Hebrew Day School, and my upbringing in a Religious Zionist home were the backbone of my love for Torah and Israel and my motivation to attend Midreshet Moriah for my first year of college.

Soon after I returned to Chicago, the news of the kidnapping of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yiifrach, and Gilad Shaar became known. News stations everywhere were talking about the kidnapping of the boys and Jews everywhere were praying for their missing brothers. Eighteen days later, their bodies were found and the Jewish people across the world mourned their murder. Then, the war began. News stations that had just days before reported the kidnapping and murder of three innocent Israeli teenagers, were now completely misrepresenting Israel’s right to defend themselves against the Hamas terrorists who committed the horrendous crime. Hearing inaccurate and biased news reports on the war made me realize that I had to get involved and do whatever I could to help make sure Israel was being accurately represented and defended from the falsehood on these kinds of news reports. I decided to join CAMERA, or Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. CAMERA is an organization that works towards making sure Israel is accurately reported in the media, which I saw a strong need for over the summer.

At University of Illinois, along with the Illini Students Supporting Israel group on campus, I have been working more with CAMERA, now as their Campus Fellow, to make sure that Israel is being accurately depicted on our campus. This was very important at the beginning of the semester after the Chancellor of the university made the courageous decision not to hire Professor Steven Salaita, after he tweeted hateful remarks against Israel and students who support Israel, much like me. (Read about another Academy alum, Josh Cooper, who was instrumental in the decision not to hire Salaita.)

I hope to continue to properly educate students about Israel on my campus, and rightfully defend Israel, my homeland, against all the hate and inaccuracies put forth against it.

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