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The David Project, Hillel help students build two-way relationships with Israel, each other
by Hillel News | Aug 25, 2017 |

The David Project builds relationships between Jewish students and diverse student leaders across campus to build understanding of and support for Israel.

The David Project professionals and interns use a “relational advocacy” approach, similar to Hillel’s relationship-based engagement methodology, to create peer-to-peer conversations that positively impact students’ relationships with Israel and themselves.

Specifically, The David Project accomplishes its mission through three core programs on more than 40 campuses:

  • The Relationship Building Institute trains students and Hillel professionals on necessary skills to advocate for Israel on their campuses. The participants network with similar student advocates from fellow diverse and influential campus communities.
  • The Campus Outreach Internship empowers students across the country to implement strategic outreach plans. The interns work with campus coordinators to learn how to talk about Israel and build relationships with leaders in diverse campus communities.
  • The David Project offers Israel Uncovered: Campus leaders mission, a 10-day leadership trip to Israel to give Jewish and non-Jewish students a first-hand experience with Israeli society.

Through these main initiatives, The David Project is making a demonstrable impact on campuses.

This year, The David Project interns held more than 7,000 conversations with more than 3,700 non-Jewish campus leaders. Students planned 300 programs on campus, all in conjunction with one or more non-Jewish student organization, that eventually reached 11,000 students.

The David Project is already actively partnering with Hillel. This week, that long-established partnership became formalized when The David Project joined Hillel’s Israel Education and Engagement Department, Hinenu.

The new relationship serves the missions of both organizations. It will allow The David Project to strengthen its proven methodology for building diverse pro-Israel support on campus, while helping Hillel empower Jewish students on campus to create enduring connections to Israel.

“Prior to spending 10 days in Israel, I had many preconceived notions about what the country would be like," said Mickey Jones, UMass Amherst ’19. "A lot of my thoughts came from a skewed view of Israel through the western media. I grew to love Israel over the course of just 10 days with The David Project, and I am glad I was given such an amazing opportunity to truly uncover Israel."

“The David Project has taught me that a relationship goes two ways; you have to take interest in another group and the other group has to take interest in you,” said Dana Demsky, University of Michigan ’17.

“Just as the David Project teaches, we need to start by developing a true relationship even if it starts out small and then work up to all of the great things we are able accomplish together."

For a complete list of campuses where The David Project works, see https://www.davidproject.org/where-we-work/.

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