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May 24, 2012 - Image 89

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-05-24

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for college students by college students

Destination Detroit from previous page

Talk Israel from 87

Both trips concluded with a meal in the city, where local residents and
young entrepreneurs who live and work in Detroit joined us. These dinners

of the Jewish Community
Relations Council of
Metropolitan Detroit,

.gave us not only an opportunity to get to know one another better, but
also provided a space to reflect on a significant day of service, touring and

provided information and
structure to the conversa-

The diverse team of students involved in Destination Detroit-Building

Bridges was automatically engaged in both the service projects and the
city. We worked together seamlessly, building excitement about the pro-

"I was glad to par-
ticipate in a success-

gram and the opportunity to grow this initiative, which will continue next
year. More than 50 students from nine MSU student organizations partici-

ful program featuring

vibrant discussions with
students and faculty," he
said. "I also note that

pated under the sponsorship of the Associated Students of Michigan State

Destination Detroit-Building Bridges allowed MSU students a chance

several Jewish students

to have fun, give back, break bread and become closer to the largest city

approached me for discus-
sion about Israel's 'warts'

in Michigan. This program created an accessible way for MSU students to
become directly involved with the revitalization of the city by introducing

and how to react to criti-
cism of the Jewish state,

them to the rich cultural, commercial and communal aspects of Detroit, all
while dispelling negative stereotypes and fostering an appreciation and
respect for our differences.

and those discussions
were very productive."

For some participants, the city was home, and for others it was a first-

Ayelet Shapiro of West Bloomfield and Clara
Silver, Hillel at EMU executive director

Although some students felt frustrated with the
directions their conversations took, most students left

time visit. Thanks to Destination Detroit, all left feeling closer to both
Detroit and each other. @

feeling satisfied they had contributed and learned
something new.

Sam Appel of Huntington Woods is a senior at MSU. He is a main

organizer of Destination Detroit-Building Bridges.

also was the first campus out of 30 to ask professors
to offer extra class credit for students who partici-
pated in the conversation.

Hillel at EMU has been working with faculty and
students for several years to develop a good comfort

"We hope this experience will spark students'
interest in Israel so that we can help them continue
the conversation," Silver said. @

level with Israel programs so it could take advantage
of the Talk Israel grant with campus support. Hillel

Rachel Kaminsky of Chelsea is an EMU senior.




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May 24 a 2012


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