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May 24, 2012 - Image 90

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

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for college students•by college students

Digging Deeper

HMD's Israel Fellowship program promotes
fuller understanding of the Jewish homeland.

Matt Epelman }


jewish@edu staff

hat can you truly say you know

ings where we discussed Israel's history,

about Israel? If the answer
is "next to nothing," then in

conflicts, culture, international relationships

February I would have asked you to "join the

club." In March, I would have insisted that
you contact Hillel of Metro Detroit (HMD) and

participate in a tremendous experience called

the Israel Fellowship.
Before starting this Fellowship, my only

previous understanding of Israel came from

a class I took at the University of Michigan-
Dearborn called "Middle Eastern Conflict,"
which was taught from an extremely pro-

Palestinian perspective. I took the class with
my sister, Abbeygail, a dedicated Jewish com-

and current topics. Every class began with a
kosher dinner and presentation from one of
the fellows about a relevant Israel-related

topic. After a brief sharing of ideas and
thoughts, an expert, such as Kari Alterman

from the local American Jewish Committee

or Allan Gale from the Jewish Community
Relations Council, would address the par-
ticipants with a discussion following their

presentation. Many of the guest speakers are

major decision makers, and exposure to them
will be helpful as we begin our own involve-

Participants in the
Fellowship program

of Metro Detroit Israel

munity leader both on and off campus. She
encouraged me, after that class, to learn more

ment in the community.
Two significant facts I learned were that
next to the Silicon Valley, Israel has the high-

about Israel from a neutral point of view.
That is when I was turned on to the Israel

est concentration of high-tech startup compa-
nies in the world, and that Michigan has close

Fellowship through HMD. I can sincerely say
that my appreciation for Israel's people, cul-

ties with Israel in the business and economic
community. One of the highlights of this pro-

Israel Business Bridge, discussed the influ-
ences Israel has had over many aspects of

ture and contributions strengthened after I

gram was discovering Israeli innovation and

daily life — for example, use of a touch-

completed the Fellowship.
This Fellowship involved 10 weekly meet-

technology coming to Michigan.
Chuck Newman, founder of the Michigan

screen phone.
I learned so much and appreciate Israel all

the more. It was an experience I will always

reflect back on and always cherish. @

Matt Epelman of Canton is a recent graduate

of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


re'Mo a bright future.

e State University congratulates the class of 2012 and we look

rd to welcoming many of you to Michigan's only urban research

university this fall. Get ready to learn on a global scale, alongside

32,000 fellow students. All bright. All determined. All Warrior proud.


May 24 • 2012



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