Saturday, April 18, 2015

Israel Soldiers Stories: Northern California Tour

Via Dr. Mike Harris at San Francisco Voice for Israel
Every spring, StandWithUs brings Israel Defense Forces veterans on tour throughout the United States. This program features reserve duty Israeli college students who talk about the Israeli-Arab conflict, giving a human face to the IDF uniform. In addition to IDF service, they are graduates of the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship, a unique public diplomacy program that selects and trains 150 student leaders each year from six Israeli universities. The soldiers speak in a number of cities across North America, in venues including university campuses, schools, synagogues, and churches. Our soldiers share their personal experiences with tens of thousands of students and community members each year.

This year's soldiers, Kokit and Tslil, will be in Northern California next week. Kokit was born in Ethiopia and moved to Israel with her family as an infant. Kokit served in the IDF for seven years as the lead officer for the Department of Basic Training, a Safety and Training Officer at the pilot cadet course, and finally serving as a training officer at the Aerospace Defense headquarters. In March 2014, Kokit participated in a delegation that traveled to South Africa to help combat “Israel Apartheid Week,” where she spoke to students about her experiences as a black Jewish woman living in Israel. Kokit is currently studying law and government at IDC Herzliya. She enjoys reading and is addicted to shopping.

Tslil was born in Kibbutz Regavim in northern Israel and is currently living in Tel- Aviv. Tslil served four years in the IDF, during the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Gilad Shalit`s abduction and the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Operation Cast Lead in 2008, and Operations Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Protective Edge in 2014, as a Captain Reserve in the Maglan Unit. Tslil earned his B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of the Koteret School of Journalism. Tslil worked as a spokesperson for the Vice Speaker of the Knesset, MP Pnina Tamano Shata of the “Yesh- Atid” Party. As an alumnus of StandWithUs` 2012 Israel Fellowship, Tslil is currently working as a digital media consultant for a firm which provides public relation services and strategic media consulting. Tslil is now a volunteer spokesperson for One Day Social Volunteering Israel.

Monday 4/20
6:00pm at Silicon Valley Hillel, San Jose
Tuesday 4/21
1:00pm at University of California Santa Cruz
Wednesday 4/22
8:30am at The San Francisco Jewish Community Federation
Thursday 4/23
10:30am at Congregation Shomrei Torah, Sonoma
7:00pm at Chico State University
Friday 4/24
1:00pm at California Capitol Building, Sacramento
Saturday 4/25
10:00am at Mosaic Law Synagogue, Sacramento
Sunday 4/26
6:00pm at Convergence House of Prayer, Fremont

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