The UR Israel Council is dedicated to promoting Israeli culture, history and politics through a wide variety of venues and programs. URIC meets every other week to discuss any issues related to the Middle East, paying close attention to Israel. URIC is also devoted to countering any anti-Israel sentiment that might exist on campus. Since its inception three years ago, members of URIC have met biweekly to plan ways to get the word out about Israel on campus.

A major way that URIC disperses information is by a newsgroup, which is organized by freshman Robbie Raphael. Each week, Raphael sends a summary of news about Israel and the Middle East by e-mail to everyone in the group. Those who are just interested in receiving the e-mail can sign up at the Campus Club Connection.

URIC works closesly with UR Hillel Israel Fellow Inbar Zezak when planning programs and events. Last month, URIC sponsored an Israeli culture night in celebration of Sukkot. Zezak showed students how to make various Israeli foods, which was enjoyed under the Sukkah outside of Wilson Commons. The evening was so successful that, according to URIC President and senior Jesse Melman, URIC is planning to do it again in the spring.

URIC also sponsors film screenings throughout the year, most of which are focused on some aspect of Jewish life or Middle Eastern politics.

In addition, the group works closely with and receives funding from the National Avi Chai Organization, which promotes Israel advocacy on college campuses. URIC has also supported fundraising efforts for the Hadassah Hospital trauma centers, which helps treat victims of terrorist attacks, some of whom are Arab. “It’s a great thing for us to support on our campus because it helps both sides,” junior Joy Newman said.

URIC has really started to develop over the past semester, and is becoming a valuable asset to the UR community. “By sponsoring programs that embrace Israel, URIC has successfully brought Israel and Israeli culture to UR students.

URIC meets every other Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Wilson Commons 121. This Monday, URIC is showing “Yana’s Friends,” a story about immigrants to Israel at 8 p.m. in the Community Learning Center.

Sokol can be reached at

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