Jewish Identity, Israel and the College Campus

We are witnessing an alarming uptick in antisemitism and anti-Zionism, including ongoing anti-Jewish activity on college campuses. This poses a serious challenge to Jewish students and to their Jewish identity.

To prepare students to face these challenges with confidence, the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County/Long Beach and the Rose Project of Jewish Federation of Orange County, in partnership with Jewish Long Beach, have developed The Youth Leadership Initiative. This dynamic program provides a platform for a select group of OC and Long Beach-area high school juniors, and seniors to learn with experts as they explore their Jewish identity and connection to Israel while gaining knowledge and skills to counter antisemitism and Israel delegitimization on their future college campuses, on social media, and beyond.

Participants will

  • Explore their Jewish identity and how Israel fits into their story of self
  • Understand trends on college campus and how Israel fits into broader conversations.
  • Engage with experts and activists who are making a difference
  • Gain leadership, dialogue and organizing skills
  • Graduate with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to engage with and advocate for Israel in a meaningful way

Youth Leadership Initiative is right for you if you:

  • Are concerned about antisemitism and/or delegitimization on or off campus
  • Want to gain skills to help you navigate antisemitism or Israel delegitimization, or to learn how be proactive in seeking to prevent them
  • Seek to strengthen your understanding of, and connection to, Israel
  • Are looking for a unique way to add to your college application

FALL 2021

Session Information

Fall 2021 sessions will be a combination of two-hour in person* workshops, dinner included, and 75-minute online sessions. The 10/31 session will take place on Sunday morning in order to video conference with Israeli and Palestinian grassroots activists from Roots/Shorashim/Judur.

(*subject to change per COVID-19 protocols)

Program Fee: $36

FALL 2021

Youth Leadership Initiative Schedule for Fall 2021:

  • 10/11  Session 1:  My Jewish Identity: Complex & Nuanced [in person]
  • 10/18  Session 2: Israel, Zionism and My Jewish Identity [online]
  • 10/25 Session 3:  Israel, Zionism and My Jewish Identity part 2 [in person]
  • 10/31  Session 4: 11:00 am Sunday video conference with Roots/Shorashim/Judur, a grassroots movement of understanding, non-violence and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank [online]
  • 11/8  Session 5: The ABC’s of Antisemitism and Delegitimization [online]
  • 11/15  Session 6:  Strategies for Countering Antisemitism and Delegitimization [in person]
  • 11/29 Session 7: College Student Panel [online]
  • 12/6 Session 8: More Tools and Conclusion [in person]



“This program taught me how to deal with antisemitism, no matter how large or small the incident is. It also helped me relate my Judaism to issues surrounding our community and the world. Race relations in the US are a very important topic, and this program addressed it nicely. Overall, this program was not overwhelming but it was an amazing source of information and communication and totally worth my time. Thank you!”

“This program helped me reconnect with my Jewish identity, which is something I'd been struggling with for a long time. Not only that, but I gained valuable skill sets that will be incredibly beneficial when encountering antisemitism and conflict in the future.”

“Coming into the program, I had some background on the various topics due to attending other programs hosted by Jewish organizations. This year, COVID-19 prevented us from being in person…I think that it opened many other doors. We were able to talk with highly recognized individuals from around the country who were experts in their areas of study. They provided very valuable information that allowed me personally to think about different issues with a new perspective. I furthered my confidence to speak out as a Jew, and I really hope that this knowledge and confidence will translate into my time in college.”

For more information contact:

Robin Steinmetz, Chair
Youth Leadership Initiative

Peter Levi, Regional Director
ADL of OC/Long Beach

Jewish Federation of Orange County

We are grateful to the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County for their generous sponsorship of this program.