Jerusalem U Students Testimonials
Jerusalem U Students Testimonials
Erika Shaid: University of Michigan
Umar Mulinde: Pastor, Uganda
David Shore: Producer of HOUSE
Auryt Jacobson: High School Teacher
David Stein: George Washington University
Jessica Felber: West Coast Director, Jerusalem U
Rebecca Fine: Director of Jewish life, Hillel of Northeastern Oklahoma
Alan Dershowitz: Professor, Harvard and Co-Chair of Step Up For Israel
Israel Inside the Movie Testimonial
From this course, I was able to better understand some of the background of Israel and therefore be able to educate my peers in a more knowledgeable.”
I was amazed with the amount of information I did not know about Israel, which I am now so glad to be aware of.”
I really did enjoy taking this course! My parents are so proud that I can actually join in on their conversations about israel and politics! I am so happy that I was given this awesome opportunity.”
JOU really knows how to teach it! Interesting lectures that are actually enjoyable!”
This idea of providing Jewish students around the world with exciting information is an amazing opportunity for everyone to be more involved with Judaism and Israel. This is a MUST for us because of the difficulties that Israel is facing every day.”
The entire course was absolutely amazing! All topics were interesting, educational and important in our quest to becoming better advocates for Israel. The speakers were fantastic and very engaging! The readings were also great. I loved loved loved this class and would take it again in a heart beat! I learned so much and will encourage my peers to take this class as well. Thank you!”
Very helpful information on how to effectively speak for Israel, an issue that I have been struggling with when there are very aggressive and unrelenting anti-Israel students on campus.”
It really inspired me to become even more openly pro-Israel on campus.”
It was entertaining and informative. It showed what sets Israel apart from other countries and how important Israel is to the world.”
The entire course, overall, completely and totally changed what I thought I knew, and changed my outlook on the situation in the Middle East. I literally went from an "End the Occupation" supporter to a Speak Up for Israel supporter.”
As someone already heavily involved in Israel advocacy on my campus, I benefited greatly from Israel Inside/Out, which reinforced many of the concepts and facts I knew prior to taking the course, and expanded my vocabulary and knowledge base for use in pro-Israel endeavors."
Israel Inside/Out taught me so much about the history of Israel and what it is currently achieving. I have benefit greatly from taking this course and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is one class you won't regret"
It taught me about important facts, many of which I was previous unaware of. This helped me to further see how great Israel's contributions to the world are."
I thought the course was great! I really felt like I learned tons of information about the history of Israel, as well as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I got everything I wanted to get out of the course, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in what's happening in the Middle East.”
Learning about what Israel does for peace makes me respect it as a country even more than I already do."
I loved this class, which literally had me in tears at times. It shows how Israel and the Jews have done right by the world, despite the criticism we receive from all over. Additionally, it shows all of our accomplishments over a relatively short period of time, while also fighting resistance from surrounding countries in the Middle East who seek to delegitimize Israel. I can only imagine what we could accomplish as a nation, on a global scale, if we are surrounded by peace.”
People don't believe me when I told them that I voluntarily took classes online- and enjoyed them! Israel Inside-Out gave me the tools to defend Israel using facts, historical evidence, and how to clarify any misconceptions about Israel. In short, I learned to love Israel for their justice and self-reliance. Any of the classes will be interesting, engaging, and make you excited to learn! :)”
I have to tell you, this class has been magnificant! I just got back from my Birthright trip and this class has helped me continue my education at my own pace and at my leisure. I have learned numerous things that I didn't know before and I have found the material enlightening, shocking, jaw dropping, helpful, educational, and most of all, inspiring. My favorite class in the series was definitely the one about supporting Israel on campus. I liked it the most because it applies to me the most. In addition, the class about how exactly to speak for Israel and the three main things to know when having a conversation with someone was the best! The most difficult thing I always always always experience is I know what to say in regards to Israel, but I don't know how to say it. I don't know what key points to touch on to get a point across so instead of saying something I usually just keep quiet. Well, not any longer. I feel more confident with my knowledge of Israel and my voice to speak for Israel. Thank you for offering this class and I hope others will continue to sign up and take the class as I have! “
Positive Psychology & Judaism did a great job demonstrating the similarities between Jewish teaching and modern-day research about leading healthy and rewarding lives. The instructors know who their audience is and did a good job of presenting the religious perspective in such a way that was accessible and educational to me as a minimally-practicing college student.”
I loved this class! I am a psychology major and this provided a great opportunity for me to connect my day to day life with the topics in this course.”
Amazing class! I learned so much about being a happier, more grateful, more giving person. I'm so proud to be Jewish!”
Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar's Positive Psychology & Judaism course was beyond what I expected-- I learned how and why its important to think positively, and found reasons from the Torah to support them.”
Positive Psych has shown a brighter side to Judaism that I didn't know about before. It really showed an uplifting side to the culture."
Everything about this lecture was so insightful and I truly want to incorporate these things into my own life.”
It presented me with an entirely new way of looking at the field of psychology and gave me a deeper appreciation for the enduring wisdom of Judaism.”
The information is extremely insightful, practical, and important in contributing a fresh perspective to things we experience every day.”
TWonderful class! Gives me more of a perspective on how i face the negatives in life and in relation to how i views god's goals for myself as well as others.”
The ideas and research presented in this lecture will help me to create positive change in my own life. After having watched this lecture, I now have a better idea of how to achieve lasting change.”
The entire Jerusalem U Positive Psychology course was amazing! I loved the combination of psychology insight with Torah insight. Dr. Ben Shahar does a superb job of getting the innovative ideas of positive psychology across. Also, the rabbi's provide such a deep and easily comprehensible discussion about various Judaic topics ( ie, the Mishnah, Pirkei Avot, etc.) The readings were great and not too long and provided a good supplement to the lecture. The video lectures were easier to follow than the ones that had just audio. The quizzes at the end of each class were not too hard, but just challenging enough to make you pay close attention to the class. Thanks again!”
There was so much truth to this lesson. I am so much more successful and work so much harder to achieve a goal that is meaningful to me. I have done a lot of fundraising for an orphanage in Tanzania. If I were to put the same amount of unconditional passion and energy toward school as I do my fundraising, I would probably be more successful. If this is the path I go down in life, I know that I will be able to succeed. I want to find a career that is meaningful and will as a result, produce higher rates of success.”
“This is truly a unique class. Not only is Positive Psychology an almost revolutionary class but to then Focus it on Judaism as having its base and roots is truly amazing. I was amazed at how gratifying it is to simply learn about this.”
I love the course, it is truly life changing.”
Finally: actual, useful, imperative information! And it came with research to back it up! Very professionally done.”
Tal ben Shachar continues to impress me with how practical his classes are and how easy he makes it to translate the positive psych into life immediately”
Jeursalem Online U gave me a whole new view on Judaism! I never thought learning Torah could be so fun and interesting! One of the best classes I have ever taken!”
Thank you for this learning experience! My Jewish identity is important to me and I enjoyed connecting Judaism to my personal values. The meaning of life is to find meaning and this is just the beginning.”
I really enjoyed this class and would highly recommend it. I ended up learning way more about my people's faith through an interesting and intellectual web course and highly support what JOU is doing!”
Entertaining and relatable. Useful in real life.”
JOU opened my eyes to how deep Judaism really is. Before the course, it was just about holidays and traditions. Now I realize how much more its really about.”
Judaism 101 really opened my eyes to more aspects of being a Jewish person in today's society other than just the traditional religious part. I learned so much that about my myself and my religion, and enjoyed the time I spent working through the class.”
I thought the lecture was very logical and answered many questions that have never been answered for me before in a straightforward yet thoughtful way - great!”
Taking Judaism 101 was informative, interesting, and fun! Even though I am a Jewish studies student, there is so much to learn about the Jewish religion. JOU does a great job of covering many different topics in a way that people at any level can learn something new, and enjoy learning about it. Since doing that class I have told many friends and students about it and have become more involved! I am in Israel right now and hope to continue learning with JOU!”
I believe that Judaism offers a very beautiful philosophy for many aspects of life, and I enjoy learning about them.”
Jerusalem U is a tremendous opportunity for students to begin learning about Judaism without the usual commitment to a weekly class. Students can listen to the classes on their own time, and have the opportunity to hear from some of the best speakers worldwide, brought to their fingertips in the convenience of the dorm room.”
The wisdom and understanding I attained is worth more than any amount of money.”
I really enjoyed the course, as it gave me a solid foundation for further Judaic study”
I just wanted to thank you for giving me access to the Judaism 101 class! It was very inspirational and enjoyable. The reason it took me so long to complete it was due to taking notes and analyzing the content and ideas. Some of the ideas were very beautiful and others showed the reality that we still have a long way to go before peace will be present. Hopefully in the future, people will appreciate the love and devotion we have to G-d and join us in unity, instead of attacking us. Until that time, I will try to be one of the many who are a "light unto the nations."
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to learn more and connect many things I am studying at school together. I have really enjoyed this experience.”
Gave me tangible ways to look inside myself and be successful.”
Amazing course. I did all the lectures with my atheist girlfriend watching, and by the end she was even trying to practice the art of kaballah and implement some of the strategies that the videos cover. Maybe together we will complete more mitzvah's and live fuller richer lives because of these inspiring videos. Thank you!”
The courses are a great way to learn about interesting Jewish topics right from your own home. It doesn't hurt that you get paid to learn either! It's the best class I'm taking this semester by far!”
'Cinema: The Jewish Lens' course was very inspiring and influential. It really opened my eyes to the influence Judaism has on filmmakers and how the values of Judaism are depicted in their films. It will definitely change the way I look at movies!"
I wasn't aware that so much of original hollywood was controlled by Jews!”
For the first time, I looked at popular movies from a Jewish angle. The movie clips were great and I learned a lot of interesting information that I never knew before!”
Loved the examples of movies that were shown everything was very clear and interesting”
I loved it because not only did it teach so much about what Judaism says about leadership, it gave great insight into movies that surround our culture today, and why we're fascinated with them.”
Before taking this class, I thought that Jewish films were just those like "Fiddler on the Roof." I was definitely wrong. I have learned so much about what it means to watch a "Jewish" movie. Clips from "the Dark Knight" and "The Godfather" proved me wrong! This course opened my eyes to very important lessons that will help me live a better, happier and fuller life.”
For people new to Judaism or interested about the faith, this is a great way to learn about it.”
The Cinema: The Jewish Lens class was very informative and gave me a new perspective when watching films. It was nice to see the Jewish context and analyze different genres such as western films, action films and crime dramas through a Jewish Lens. I also thought the interviews with leading Jewish scholars and filmmakers added to the class. I highly recommend it and it felt less like a class and more like watching a behind-the-scenes behind moviemaking.”
The Jewish Lens course was an amazing opportunity to learn about the role Judaism plays in cinema. The lectures were interesting and engaging while also extremely informative.”
I loved it because it makes me look at Judaism from another perspective, from the movie perspective. I never realized or thought how much film has influence on Judaism in the world. The class made me as my self how much is my life experience and me as a person makes me Jewish”
It was a great pleasure to meet you and to learn about your extensive outreach and educational efforts on behalf of Israel. Your methodology of drawing upon the power of film, great Jewish minds, and interactive education is novel and impactful. Your newest film, Israel Inside, in my eyes, could help reshape the way Israel is perceived by the world today."
Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs The State of Israel
Our JCRC Israel Advocacy Initiative committee was seeking a tool to bring both positive and relevant information about Israel to the community. We found what we needed and more in Jerusalem U’s Step Up For Israel film series. Since we first began showing the Step Up For Israel series, we have since partnered with 5 other Jewish institutions to bring the complete series to their Synagogue or organization. I would recommend that every Federation, JCRC and synagogue consider utilizing this powerful and cost-effective resource in their community."
Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council NJ
With a radically changing middle east, the need for training future students to Step Up For Israel has never been greater. Jerusalem U continues to be at the forefront of teaching a new generation of students to be proud about their heritage.”
Middle East Current Affairs, Public Diplomacy and Effective Communication Training
Let me be the first to congratulate the Step Up For Israel Campaign on an extraordinary film and the very important work that they do.”
D-FL, 19th district
Click here to view his full speech at Temple Emanu-El in Palm Beach.
On behalf of the entire JSU organization, I wanted to thank you and Jerusalem U for providing us with crucial tools to use in the classroom with respect to Israel education and advocacy. The film “Crossing the Line,” shown at 19 of our public school JSU clubs over the past year (reaching an estimated 400 students), paints a very specific picture of how Israel is portrayed at the college campus level. The shock of the video has spurred many of our students to action – some have become AIPAC enthusiasts, while others are simply better prepared for the responsibility that faces them when they graduate...."
Director of Operations, JSU - Jewish Student Union
Click here to view the full testimonial.
I firmly believe Israel education is necessary to preserving and strengthening our bond with Israel, It's incumbent upon us all to educate ourselves, our children and our grandchildren about Israel. And, I think Step Up for Israel is a great way to do it.”
Chairman of the Marcus Foundation and a co-founder of The Home Depot
What a great film (Crossing The Line)… we have an obligation to tell the truth, and the truth is very painful one on many college university campuses as we saw in this wonderful film...We have to be out there we have to be turning out cadres of young people who are capable of making the case for Israel and making it well..."
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Click here to view his full speech at the Park Avenue Synagogue.
We have just had our Yom Hazi’karon and Yom Haatzmauth celebration at school as we break up for two weeks tomorrow for our autumn break. I showed the movie Israel Inside and it was the most successful program we have had so far. After the movie we had a writing competition and we are just reading the responses now and I almost want to cry when I read what the kids have written...I would never have believed the response that we got. One kids wrote and I quote 'Ï was so happy to see the colours and the children and the treés. We always see war and black and white and fighting. I was ss happy to see that Israel is ‘normal like other countries.'"
Head of Jewish Life and Hebrew, Masada College, Sydney Australia
Israel inside was shown at the Hadassah national board meeting in Dallas Texas. They laughed,applauded and asked if it could be shown in their regions. Everyone was enthusiastic and felt that it should be shared extensively."
Hadassah Chair Zionist Affairs
…We have a new battle, battle of public opinion more than ever before especially on the campuses…and this is the time and on the right time Step Up For Israel started and is now established and running forward. We are very proud in the Israeli government, Israeli public and as a private Israeli, to support whole heartedly this initiative it’s a great initiative by great people with great leaders in Israel and in the US supporting this idea. Support. Register. Take the stand for Israel, all of you Jews and Christians"
Consul General to the Southeast United States
Click here to view his full speech at the Atlanta Kick off event.
Step Up for Israel provided a space for us to answer the difficult questions ourselves and to personally speak up on Israel's behalf."
Education Coordinator, The Temple - Atlanta
The viewing of Crossing the Line made a big impact on our audience. Having college students who are alumni of our school serve on the panel was particularly impactful. One student related a personal experience involving a swastika; others talked about campus involvement. It was a thought provoking evening.”
Head of School, The Epstein School
...The film (Crossing the Line) is absolutely fantastic - exactly what is needed, and it takes you so well through the steps of explaining the problem and leaving you on a high note..."
...Everyday, I wake up and think that our synagogue needs additional programming with your organization 'Step Up For Israel'. When you came last year and held a program ... people were clammoring afterwards to learn more. I'd love to speak with you and see how we can bring your organization back to work with our students and our congregants."
Education Director, Congregation Beth El - Ner Tamid
We had a fabulous response to today's Step Up For Israel presentation. Today's video triggered tremendous enthusiasm and support and our audience was eager to get involved in more outreach.”
Ahavath Achim Synagogue
I reviewed the course, Israel Inside/Out from Jerusalem U ...I cannot say enough about how outstanding this course is in every respect. It is creative, comprehensive and easy to follow."
I just wanted to let you know again how impressed I was with you big event in Atlanta. It was truly fantastic! I would love to get our teens to watch your videos and take classes.”
Jewish Student Union
I met you on Sunday at Beth Am following your presentation and screening of the film, "Crossing the Line." I am so glad that I attended the program.I was definitely shocked AND surprised by the rapidly growing anti-semetic, anti-Israel movements on college and university campus. I left the room with the same feeling that I had after visiting Israel. I wanted to tell everyone about the film and the program that you presented so they will watch the film, learn about your programs, understand the issues, get involved, and continue to spread the word."
We all had great appreciation for the film (Israel Inside), its contents and creators. What a bright, fresh look at the Jewish State! Way to go! Kol Hakavod and Yasher Koach!"
Just wanted to let you know how absolutely thrilled I am with your program.
You have thought of everything, from asking the questions that puzzle the students to giving the kind of information that both satisfies them and allows them to use themselves in a visually exciting and captivating way. The pupils are learning so much from it"
We have been using the program consistently since September and the students seem engaged...The fact that it’s current is also a great attention getter. Overall, we find the program informative, well put together and an asset for the students to experience. Thank you for the opportunity to use this program, it’s benefits are being well received."
This is a godsend, and I look forward to using it as our main Israel curriculum for our 8th and 9th graders. That is our intentions, and I would love to find out more ways to utilize the curriculum as well."
Once I watched the Israel Inside/Out course, as well as participating in the online high school classes about Israel, I am becoming more and more knowledgeable in Israel facts and arguments. My short time with Jerusalem U has taught me the importance and value in Israel education and how there are many organizations that teach kids to love Israel, but when you are up against these highly trained anti-Israel people – you really need to know the facts. I have also began to comprehend that we can’t stand back and allow these people to demonize Israel, because when they are doing this they are also being anti-Semitic, and so we must fight it with the truth."
I see the engaging way in which my 16 year old son Jared is gaining in learning about Israel through the four series of Jerusalem U classes he is taking currently. He had become disenchanted with his time spent at Hebrew School. Upon taking these on-line classes, he declared, “I wish we were learning this at Hebrew School.” Even after years at Ramah summer camp, we still see how much more Jared needs to learn to be a strong advocate for Israel and the Jewish people, at College and throughout his life."
Parent of High School student who did our test class