I have always been an active advocate for Israel. As a member of various prominent pro-Israel organizations including AIPAC, StandWithUs, JNF, Hillel, Onward Israel, CAMERA, the Israel Innovation Fund and the Jewish Federation, it’s no secret how deep my connection to Israel runs. These organizations have shaped me into the strong Israel activist that I am today.
Last year, when I received a message on LinkedIn from Rachel Poulin, ISRAEL21c’s Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, encouraging me to apply to be a Digital Ambassador, I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my life and my connection to Israel.
I quickly learned that this organization was different from all the ones I had previously played a role in. ISRAEL21c gave me the chance to do two things I already love doing: using social media and promoting Israel.
Social media is the perfect way to show my generation all that Israel has to offer, which is what being a Digital Ambassador is all about. Applying for the program was a no-brainer!
In August, ISRAEL21c flew me and the rest of the ambassadors out to Chicago for a training retreat. I spent the weekend learning and growing my skillset while connecting with like-minded college students who shared the same undying love for Israel.
We were divided into teams with whom we would work throughout the year on a social-media campaign. By the time the retreat was over, my new friends and I were ready to put our new skills to the test.
My team and I decided to focus on Israel and veganism. We called the project “VeLoveIsrael.” We interviewed numerous Israeli vegan restaurateurs and wrote articles about them for ISRAEL21c’s website.
Our goal was to show the rest of the world just how vegan-friendly Israel and Israelis are. Not enough people know that Tel Aviv was named the vegan capital of the world. We were determined to educate the rest of the world on this subject.
In total, my team and I have published eight articles, and we are still in the progress of producing more. I got to interview Xoli, the founder of my favorite restaurant in Israel, Café Xoho. Creating this article was an awesome experience.
We also worked with an Israeli vegan Influencer to help spread our message. She posted Instagram stories on our behalf that consisted of fun facts about veganism in Israel.
In addition to team projects, Digital Ambassadors use the social-media skills learned at the retreat to promote ISRAEL21c content. We also participate in weekly Zoom meetings and monthly educational seminars.
ISRAEL21c is different from any other pro-Israel organization that I have worked with before. Through ISRAEL21c’s Digital Ambassador program, I can get people talking about Israel who never would’ve thought to do so before.
Whether it is through one’s interest technology, health, the environment, social action, culture or travel, every single person can have a connection to Israel. They just need to find it, and ISRAEL21c helps.
I’ve spent the past three summers living and working in Israel. I’ve seen firsthand how much good Israel does, and I want the rest of the world to see it too.
As my time as a Digital Ambassador comes to an end, I implore you to spread the word about this unique opportunity to college students across America. This experience has given me tools that I will carry throughout the rest of my life. I want as many people to have this incredible experience as possible.
I wouldn’t be who I am without Israel, and ISRAEL21c’s Ambassadorship Program has given me the chance to share my connection to Israel with the world as well as connect others to Israel, and there is no better feeling than that.
Julia Pratt is a student at Tulane University double majoring in political science and Jewish studies. She is a CAMERA Campus Fellow and a JNF Campus Fellow.
Interested in learning more about the Digital Ambassador Program? We are now recruiting students for the Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 cohort. Click here to learn more/apply or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.