Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 05:07 am est

Israel trip grants students global insight

Posted on February 13, 2014 | by Avery Chang

Avital Glibicky for WSN

After a life-changing trip to Israel over winter break, three NYU students are looking to begin conversations about the country’s rich complexities in the NYU community.

CAS senior Jackie Retig, Stern junior Liz Beras and Steinhardt senior Alec Foster traveled with a trip organized by the David Project, a nongovernmental organization based in Boston. Thirty other students from eight American universities joined Retig, Beras and Foster in learning about Israel’s intricate social concerns.

The 10-day trip began in Tel Aviv, continued on to the Golan Heights in the north and ended at Masada and Jerusalem. While traveling from one location to another, the delegation of students made stops to talk with various individuals, from an army colonel stationed on the border of Syria and Lebanon to Palestinian peace activists.

“Having a variety of different speakers made the trip a good cross-section of Israel’s society,” Beras said. “I just feel so privileged to have been able to go on the trip because [Israel] is not simply just what people think it is. It is so different to be able to go there and actually talk to these people who have these diverse views.”

The trip offered the students a balanced point of view, allowing them to soak up knowledge and form their own opinions. After visiting sites, the students would discuss their sentiments with one another in a comfortable environment that enabled them to speak freely, an environment that they said was lacking on their home campuses.

“This was exploring how to have a conversation about peace, having some sort of resolution, and how to have more conversations on campus about peace. And it’s hard to do that if campuses can be so one-sided,” Retig said. “Every college student can say that they are pro-peace. But having open discussions are difficult when campuses can be so polarizing.”

Through meeting with a variety of people — fellow students and a wide of spectrum of speakers — the three travelers gained insight into how to have discussions about Israel, as well as other countries.

Now, Retig, Beras and Foster are taking the lessons they learned and applying them to provoke a broader, more expansive conversation. By mingling these lessons with their own interests, they will be holding events on campus to help create relationships between varieties of students.

“Because we all belong to very different communities across NYU, we want to get a good cross section of those different groups to come together and be a part of the conversation,” Beras said.

Currently, they are working with Students for Sensible Drug Policy and TorchPAC to bring Ari Hoffnung — NYC’s Deputy Comptroller for Policy and Budget — to NYU for a discussion on medical marijuana research and its successful use in treating terminally ill patients in Israel. They are also planning a panel event with a key-note speaker that will examine the potential of various industries in Israel.

“One of the themes of the trip was understanding that the conversations shouldn’t just end there in Israel and that each of us, all coming from strong communities on campus and caring passionately about the issues, will come back and make waves,” Retig said.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 13 print edition. Avery Chang is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next