2020: MTF’s Impact is Expanding on US Campuses & Worldwide
The 2020-21 academic year is in full swing. And it’s every bit as chaotic as we expected. Some schools moved all classes online. Others are trying to do in-person learning. Most are a mix of both. And things are changing every day.
This unprecedented environment is deeply frustrating. We’re facing the prospect of a full academic year in which we’re unable to pursue some of our most effective strategies. It’s downright painful to contemplate the thousands of potential friends and allies we won’t be making because of cancelled Israel trips and outreach events.
Yet as this year’s limitations come into sharper focus, so too do its opportunities. The most immediate opportunity is the fact that most pro-Israel students have more free time than they ordinarily would. When we offer them quality education and training, they’re participating in record numbers. Through a combination of increased funding and new educational partnerships, we’re offering our students unprecedented opportunities to deepen their knowledge of Israel and improve their advocacy skills. They will emerge from the lock downs better equipped than ever to support the Jewish state.
This unusual year also offers us a chance to turn inward and build out some of our new programs. Last year we launched an initiative to reach emerging leaders on America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). Operating on these campuses has brought a pleasant surprise: HBCU leaders are far more interested in Israel than I would have expected. And they bring impressive objectivity to this fraught subject. We’re quickly expanding our efforts to meet this demand.
Finally, last year was the first time we invested in campuses beyond North America. Being active beyond our borders brought a less pleasant surprise: anti-Semitism abroad seems to be rising in inverse proportion to the funding available to combat it. As a result, we’re expanding our overseas investments to ensure that we’re proving necessary strategies and resources to committed partners around the globe.
This won’t be a typical year for us — or for anyone. But it’s shaping up to be our busiest and most innovative year yet. As always, we’ll keep you posted on our progress.
MTF Executive Director