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Hillel International Absorbs Israel Advocacy Group ‘The David Project’

(JTA) — The David Project, a pro-Israel organization that morphed from a “combative” advocacy group to a more mainstream educational program for campus activists, will join Hillel international, the groups announced.

The David Project will be integrated into Hinenu, Hillel’s Israel Education and Engagement department. Hillel and the David Project have been working in partnership for the last five years.

“Hillel values the approach The David Project has taken to build strong relationships on campus with a wide array of students to strengthen the pro-Israel community,” said Hillel International President and CEO Eric D. Fingerhut in a statement. “This work complements Hillel’s vision of broadening the network of support for Israel throughout the campus.”

The David Project reached 10,000 Jewish and non-Jewish students this past academic year on 45 campuses, cultivating student leaders and organizations as allies for Hillel and the pro-Israel community, Hillel said in announcing the collaboration.

The David Project will continue to be led and staffed by its current employees under the guidance of an advisory board to be created together with Hillel.

The David Project trains activists to educate students on campus through individual conversations and group programming. Its original mission at its founding in 2002 was confronting what it identified as radically anti-Israel and pro-Islamist influences on campus.

In 2015, it moderated its approach under then director David Bernstein, who currently heads the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

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