At CUFI's S.A.L.T, Adding Spice to Advocacy
Excerpt from Israel Campus Beat
More than 100
students from 74 campuses across 35 states gathered in San Antonio, Texas, in
the first week of January to learn how to become better advocates for Israel.
They came for a conference sponsored by Christians United for Israel, but they
represented College Republicans, College Democrats and other groups in addition
to their local CUFI on Campus chapters.
CUFI’s Second Annual Student
Advocacy Leadership Training (S.A.L.T.) was a three-day cram session packed
with tips to help campus leaders advocate for Israel. CUFI's national campus
director, Jeremiah Nasiatka, set the tone when he greeted the attendees by
saying, “We want to impact the world.”
The participants came expecting to learn how to impact their campuses, but the
organizers had even higher hopes: They wanted these 100 student activists to
send a message to the globe: Anti-Israel sentiment is no longer just a Jewish
problem, and Jews and non-Jews alike will work together to change the campus
Tyler Howell, a first-year master's student at Trinity International
University, described the S.A.L.T. Conference as, “strategic on how you reach
out to leaders, especially to the opinion leaders on your campus in fostering
good solid relationships.” Howell found the session entitled "Small
Groups," led by CUFI's East Coast campus field organizer, David Walker, to
be particularly helpful as it addressed ways to engage student government
leaders, College Republicans and Democrats as well as other campus leaders.
Sam Bain, who co-chairs the Ohio College Republican Federation and is a senior
at Saint Clair University, said he attended the conference in order to learn.
“The best way to stand up for something is to know everything you can about it
because when you go on campus you’re going to be faced with opposition [and]
questions,” he said.
Conference sessions provided tips on debunking myths regarding Israel, and also
helped participants learn how to answer questions regarding terms like
“occupation” and “settlements” that many students encounter on campus.