Hasbara Fellowships

Hasbara Fellowships
Formation 2001
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Website hasbarafellowships.org

Hasbara Fellowships is an organization that brings students to Israel and trains them to be effective pro-Israel activists on college campuses.[1] Based in New York, it was started in 2001 by Aish HaTorah in conjunction with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The organization claims to have trained nearly 2,000 students on over 220 North American campuses.[2]

Students in the program have the opportunity to meet high-level Israeli officials. A sample itinerary given by the organization includes meetings in Jerusalem with the foreign press advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel, the mayor of an Israeli city, a member of the Knesset, and the foreign minister of Israel.[3]


Hasbara Fellowships was founded and is, as of 2011, still run by Rabbi Elliot Mathias, who has a degree in communications from Northwestern University.[4]


Activists trained by Hasbara Fellowships have been involved in several campus rallies. In 2002, Hasbara Fellowships organized a rally at the National Student Palestinian Conference at the University of Michigan.[5] In 2007, Hasbara Fellowships members at Brandeis University protested against former US President Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.[6]

In May 2007, Hasbara Fellowships (co-sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry) called for volunteers to counter a "dangerous trend" of Wikipedia entries portraying Israel in a "negative light". Interested readers were encouraged to consider "joining a team of Wikipedians to make sure Israel is presented fairly and accurately".[7][8]

In 2008, Hasbara Fellowships helped to organize "Islamic State Apartheid Week" at York University to counter the rival "Israeli Apartheid Week".[9]

In 2010, Hasbara Fellows created Israel Peace Week as a response to Israel Apartheid Week. In its first year, the program reached 28 campuses in the US and three in Australia.[10][11][12]


The Milstein Coalition Building Grant is provided for pro-Israel students to build bridges with various cultural and political groups on campus. Examples include: Political Clubs (Student Government, College Republicans & College Democrats), Single-Issue Clubs (Business Fraternity, Environmental Club), Cultural Club (African Americans, Latino-Americans, Christians United for Israel) as well as Fraternities and Sororities. The Milstein Coalition Building Grant is generously provided by the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.[13]

See also


  1. New York Times
  2. Israelactivism.com
  3. Jerusalemfellowships.org
  4. Jerusalemfellowships.org
  5. Aish.com
  6. Dailynewstribune.com
  7. Archive.org, Hasbara Fellowships Newsletter, 31 May 2007, accessed 24 May 2010.
  8. Allan, Diana; Curtis Brown (Autumn 2010). "The Mavi Marmara at the Frontlines of Web 2.0". Journal of Palestine Studies. 1. 40: 63. doi:10.1525/jps.2010.xl.1.063.
  9. Excal.on.ca
  10. "peace".
  11. Israelpeaceweek.org
  12. "ynet".
  13. "Hasbara Fellowships Grants".

External links

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