Jacqueline Zaccai, TSI 2016-17 Graduates

This past year with The Sabra Institute couldn't have been a better complement to my senior year of high school. I learned about Israeli history and how to strategically argue and advocate for Israel. My peers and I discussed and debated important and controversial topics during and after each class. The session, discussions, and excursions were all intriguing and focused on each individual developing well-rounded views and opinions based on facts that we could then use in our everyday dissection of the mainstream media, in our analysis of news and legislation regarding Israel and in everyday conversation in order to be well-rounded, opinionated individuals who know what we stand for and why.

Shlomo Husni, TSI 2016-17 Graduate

The Sabra Institute was extremely influential in helping me form my opinions about Israel. The bi-weekly lessons helped provide me with the crucial historical background leading to the current status quo in Israel, giving me an unbiased look to history. We also had various debate and rhetorical lessons which helped me articulate my views persuasively in a public setting. Most importantly, the trip to Israel cemented everything we developed over the year. Seeing all the historical and current focal points of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in person helped me filter out all the bias and see things on the ground, in their raw form. This will undoubtedly help me understand the conflict and effectively advocate for Israel in college in the coming years.

Deborah Coopersmith, TSI 2016-17 Graduate

The Sabra Institute helped give me a more comprehensive viewpoint of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In all of our discussion classes, I always left knowing more and feeling more confident in myself to talk to others about the topic. It was mind-boggling to see how although we all believe in Israel's right to exist, we had very different opinions on how they should conduct themselves in the international arena, local policies and a solution to end the conflict. [On the end of the year trip, we met with people from all different walks of life and were able to discuss with them what would be the most practical and realistic solution. I gained an understanding that any true peace between the Israelis and Palestinians would need to have multiple fronts dealing with economic, environmental, geological and social problems. What impacted me the most was when we talked with a man who works at EcoPeace, an organization that works towards finding peace through preserving the environment. We met with him right next to the Security Border Fence where we saw highly polluted water exit the West Bank, go through a filtration system that no longer works properly because of the extreme abundance of pollution, and then reenter the river. This was eye opening to see one of the environmental problems Palestinians are facing and how by perhaps finding a solution that can teach them how to protect their water supply and a cheap way to clean their water we can be one step closer to peace.]

David Hammer, TSI 2016-17 Graduate

The Sabra Institute fellowship was very engaging. Our instructors Irv and Alisa backed by the behind the scenes support of David and Jojo provided us with a fascinating curriculum that examined significant parts of Israel's history that often get overlooked by teachers in yeshivah. On top of that, we participated in hands-on exercises that cultivated skills necessary to debate and be effective advocates for Israel. I really learned a lot from my fellow Sabra seniors, since we sometimes had to critique each others performance in speech and presentation. In the end, I walked away from the Sabra program with more knowledge, debate techniques, and friendships.

Marcelle Setton, TSI 2016-17 Graduate

The Sabra Institute played a vital role in my preparations for the college and the future as a Jewish girl who supports Israel. I learned about the Israeli point of view in addition to the Palestinian perspective, which fostered my own opinion and further enhanced my support of the Jewish state. Additionally, TSI provided us with important life skills such as public speaking and debating. I feel adequately prepared to combat anti-Israel organizations and spread the truth about Israel.

Amanda Heskiel, TSI 2016-17 Graduate

The Sabra Institute has given me debate skills to be able to enrich my advocacy on campus. I have learned a lot more about the history and the different narratives in Israel than I knew before. TSI gave me the opportunity to see what happens on campus firsthand and gave me the tools to be able to correct that. It all culminated with a trip to Israel where I was able to see the facts on the ground that I advocate for all the time. The Sabra Institute has enriched my passion for Israel activism.