Jerusalem U

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Jerusalem U is a non-profit organization dedicated to film-based Jewish and Israel education. Jerusalem U produces feature-length films, film classes, and experiential and interactive learning initiatives. Programs feature world-class educators, experts and Hollywood personalities including Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Professor Alan Dershowitz, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, TV actor Mayim Bialik, Sir Martin Gilbert, Elliott Gould and others.[1][2]

Jerusalem U’s educational programs are distributed via the internet, social media, television, grassroots campaigns, live events and educational partnerships. Since its founding in 2009, Jerusalem U has partnered with approximately 750 organizations, schools, camps, and campus groups including Jewish Federation chapters, Jewish Community Relations Councils, Jewish National Fund, Hillel chapters and others.[3]

Films[edit]

Jerusalem U has produced four critically acclaimed feature documentary films, Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference and Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus. Israel Inside was seen by millions of people on PBS, Comcast on Demand, El Al flights and screened more than 400 times in 28 countries.[4]

  • Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference is a 55-minute, feature-length documentary that explores the positive characteristics of Israeli society from a humanistic, psychological, and emotional perspective. The film was released in 2011 and is narrated by former Harvard professor of Positive Psychology, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar.[5]
  • Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front is a 2014 documentary film which explores the personal experiences of five Israeli high school graduates who are recruited to serve in the army paratrooper brigade for their compulsory military service. Beneath the Helmet was named the 5th Best Military Documentary on Netflix Streaming in 2015.[6] It has been screened over 850 times.
  • Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus explores the phenomenon of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism on college campuses across North America. The documentary also examines the experiences of Jewish college students who are involved supporting the State of Israel and fighting against misinformation campaigns. Versions of the film have been made both for the United States and the United Kingdom.[7][8] A follow-up documentary, produced in 2015, has been released by Jerusalem U called Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus. The film documents how a growing number of anti-Israel demonstrations on U.S. campuses also include anti-Semitic messaging.

Step Up For Israel campaign[edit]

Jerusalem U’s flagship program, Step Up For Israel, is an international grassroots campaign that aims to connect individuals and communities to Israel through Israel education and activist opportunities. The campaign is co-chaired by Professor Alan Dershowitz and Ambassador Dore Gold.[9][10]

Interactive education[edit]

Jerusalem U has produced five film mini-series: Israel Inside/Out, Habits of Happiness: Positive Psychology & Judaism, Judaism 101, Cinema: The Jewish Lens and The Israel Course. The organization is currently in the production stages of a new leadership mini-course.[11]

  • Israel Inside/Out explores Israel's history, politics, geography and sociology. The course is taught by Middle East experts, including Professor Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert, Professor Bernard Lewis, Ambassador Dore Gold, Fern Oppenheim and Ambassador Danny Ayalon.[12][13]
  • Habits of Happiness: Positive Psychology & Judaism fuses groundbreaking discoveries from psychology's most recent field of study with ancient Jewish thought. The series is taught by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar.[14][15]
  • Judaism 101 provides a broad overview of Jewish thought and insight. Classes include Love and Relationships, Achieving Success, Gossip, Kabbalah, the History of Jerusalem and Jewish Contributions to World Values.[16]
  • Cinema: The Jewish Lens explores the links between popular film genres, cinematic themes, characters and plot lines to Jewish philosophy and tradition.[17]
  • The Israel Course: Biblical, Historical & Modern Perspectives is a seven-part film series about Israel geared towards Christian audiences.[18]
  • JU Max is a ten-week interactive, online course for college students. Participants explore Jewish concepts with an educator in real-time, and at the end of the class, participants receive a free or subsidized trip to Israel with an affiliated program.[19]

Jewish leadership programs[edit]

CORE18 Leaders Lab, a Jewish leadership development program is a full-scholarship, two-phased, 15-month program co-chaired by award-winning actress Mayim Bialik, Harvard professor Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar and Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. CORE18 offers emerging young leaders from the U.S. and Israel access to business and entrepreneurial training, leadership development, mentoring and Jewish literacy. Fellows complete the program by pitching and new entrepreneurial ventures for the Jewish community. Faculty include: Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, OurCrowd CEO Jonathan Medved, philanthropist Scott Shay, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein and other pre-eminent Jewish leaders.[20][21]

Jerusalem U conducts a gap year program for pre-college teens, providing weekly educational classes and training to post-high school students in Israel.[22] The Jerusalem U Fellowship program provides additional advanced Israel advocacy training to approximately 30 gap year students.[23]

Advisory board[edit]

Jerusalem U’s Advisory Board includes representatives from academia, Jewish education, Hollywood, business and politics.

Advisory Board Members:[24]

History[edit]

Imagination Productions, Inc., which operates under the title Jerusalem U (formerly JerusalemOnlineU.com), is a US registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.[25] Founded in 2007, Jerusalem U has offices in Jerusalem, New York and Philadelphia. The organization is headed by founder and CEO, Raphael Shore, president, Amy Holtz and Executive Vice President Eli Ovits.[26]

Raphael Shore, studied film at the University of Toronto. He is the founder and CEO of Jerusalem U. Shore produced the critically acclaimed PBS film, Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference, the 2010 documentary Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus,[27] and Jerusalem U’s newest film, Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front.[28]

Amy Holtz previously owned and operated a chain of 25 Party City franchise stores. Prior to that, she practiced law at Blank Rome in Philadelphia and Arent Fox in Washington, D.C.[29] [30]

Eli Ovits studied International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a reserve spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces and a renowned expert in strategic communications. Prior to joining Jerusalem U, Ovits served as director of communications for The Israel Project, and as a member of the international relations team at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.[31][32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No small wonder". Jerusalem Post.
  2. ^ "Ben-Shahar provides lessons on happiness". Sun Sentinel. 24 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Partners". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Film presents 'much larger picture' of Israel". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  5. ^ "No Small Wonder". Jerusalem Post. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  6. ^ "11 Best Military Documentaries on Netflix Streaming in 2015". Insider Monkey. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  7. ^ "Film reveals anti-Zionist threat faced by students". The Jewish Chronicle Online. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Campus Intifada - Crossing the Line". Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Step Up For Israel Film". Hasbara Fellowships. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Step Up for Israel". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  11. ^ "'Jerusalem U' Links Students with Judaism". The Atlanta Jewish Times.
  12. ^ "'Jerusalem U' Links Students with Judaism". The Atlanta Jewish Times.
  13. ^ "Israel Inside Out". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Ben-Shahar provides lessons on happiness". Sun Sentinel. 24 February 2014.
  15. ^ "'Jerusalem U' Links Students with Judaism". The Atlanta Jewish Times.
  16. ^ "'Jerusalem U' Links Students with Judaism". The Atlanta Jewish Times.
  17. ^ "Cinema - The Jewish Lens". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Online University Confronts Anti-Israel Bias". CBN News. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  19. ^ "JU Max". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  20. ^ "'Big Bang Theory' Actress Headlines New Entrepreneurship Program". The Jewish Week. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Core 18 FAQ". Core18. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  22. ^ "About Us". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  23. ^ "Jerusalem U Fellows". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Jerusalem U Advisory Board". Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Guide Star". GuideStar. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  26. ^ "Jerusalem U". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Campus Intifada - Crossing the Line". Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Jerusalem U Staff". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  29. ^ "Amy Holtz". She Source. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  30. ^ "Jerusalem U Staff". Jerusalem U. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  31. ^ "Eli Ovits' Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  32. ^ "Jerusalem U Staff". Jerusalem U.

External links[edit]