Write On For Israel

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Writing On For Israel (WOFI) is a zionist organization whose objective is to train American-Jewish High School students for two years to improve their Israel-advocacy effectiveness by improving their writing, journalism and communications skills. The program includes the following areas:

  • The History of Israel
  • Modern Jewish History
  • Facts and Myths of the Current Conflict
  • Recognizing and Countering Press Bias
  • Meeting the Challenges on College Campuses

The WOFI students are prepared to engage in serious Israel-advocacy at their eventual universities and to join student newspapers. One can track the early WOFI graduates and determine that in fact most of them join the university newspapers.

About WOFI

From the WOFI website program description:

Write On For Israel is an intensive and exciting two-year program that trains a select group of high school students to become advocates for Israel through journalism. A project of the New York Jewish Week newspaper, Write On For Israel teaches students about Israel, Zionism and the Arab-Israeli conflict and empowers them to become effective advocates through writing, broadcasting and public speaking. Sessions focus on Jewish and Israel history and the facts and myths of the current conflict, as well as confronting press bias and making Israel's case to the media. The seminars are taught by top educators and professional journalists and feature appearances by Israeli officials, IDF officers, college students, PR executives and other top professionals.

Participants will be trained in:

  • Journalistic writing
  • Media relations
  • Public speaking

When and Where Will the Program Take Place?

The seminars will be held on seven Sundays between November and June at the Kraft Jewish Center at Columbia University, culminating in a 10-day, free trip to Israel in early July, 2006.

From the Avi Chai description:

Write On For Israel This program, initiated by Gary Rosenblatt, publisher of the New York Jewish Week, trains high school students in their junior and then senior years to become advocates for Israel on college campuses. The curriculum involves (1) seven Sundays of seminars during the first year on Jewish and Israeli history, the facts and myths of the current conflict, confronting press bias and making Israel's case to the media; (2) a ten-day Israel mission in June; and (3) a choice of tracks for hands-on field work activities during the students' senior year.
The New York program will begin its fifth cohort in fall 2006. The impact of the program can already be seen through the efforts of the first graduates of the program, who are now active Israel advocates on campus.
Building on the success of the NY program, AVI CHAI and the Jewish Week have taken the franchise model to Chicago, where the program has been coordinated as a joint venture of the JUF News, the Chicago Community Foundation for Jewish Education and the Associated Talmud Torahs. The Chicago program will begin its third cohort in fall 2006.


WOFI Student Graduates

WOFI Students by cohort
2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
Arielle Anhalt Sally Abadi Daina Anhalt
Maxim Astashinsky Rachel Bayefsky-Anand Nina Anziska
Bella Ballas Emily A. Belfer Amanda Baskind
Leonid Begun Aryeh Bernstein Oren Benzaquen
Erica Belkin Ben Decker Jennifer Fishkin
James Bennet Charles Harris Adam Gindea
Nava Billet Sippy Laster Maya Glickman
Sara Bressler Daniel Lubelskir Jacob Greenberg
Boaz Cohen Ora Z. Novick Ari Heistein
Alan Feder Amanda Pariser Elah Lanis
Samantha Goldman Yonatan Schenker Eric Lemor
Daniel Goldmintz Adeena Schlussel Francesca Levine
Deena Greenberg Emily Steinberger Jeremy Miles
Chaim Gruschko David Valiyev Westleigh Nirenberg
Noam Harary Jessica Weiner Eitan Rapps
Melissa Hauptman   Avigayil Ribner
Rachel Klapper Sam Safdieh
Noach Lerman Anna Sce'
Elissa Lerner Yedidya Schwartz
Daniel Loewenstein Ido Shargal
Abigail Marcus Lexi Shechtel
Shifra Mincer Aviya Slutzky
Whitney Mosery Zahava Stadler
Aryeh Roskies Orah Weiss
Zachary Saltzman
Tamar Schimel
Danielle Slutzky
Jonathan D. Stettin
Rob Weisenfeld