JTA Op-Ed: Stop BDS By Supporting Jewish Youth Trips to Israel

14 Jul 2015

And we couldn’t agree more. Sociologist David Bryfman and Steven M. Cohen write in the JTA that the recent investment in combating the scourge of BDS should also include elements of sending Jewish teenagers on Israel summer programs. The two cite their own work on The Anne Samson Jerusalem Journey, where teens who attended the program reported higher levels of Jewish engagement, belonging and ritual observance than their peers. You can read a summary of the report here and the full report here.

They conclude:

“BDS might be the rallying cry and the impetus to mobilize millions of dollars of new resources. But the real issue is how to engage more Jewish youth and young adults in meaningful Jewish experiences with other Jews.

So instead of pledging millions of dollars to fight the BDS movement on college campuses, invest more in Jewish teens before they get to campus. If we do our job right in the adolescent years, many more of our youth will engage in pro-Israel activities on campus — as they will in Shabbat dinners, service learning opportunities, broader campus politics and making the world a better place.”

Read the full op-ed here.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.