U.S. Professors Prepare for Bridge-Building Mission to Israel


New York, NY: November 11, 2019 – Following Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) MoU signing with the University of Arizona and the Arava region, JNF-USA is continuing to foster collaboration between Israeli and US institutions as 29 participants, including 28 professors, from universities and colleges across the U.S. prepare to travel to Israel on the 2019/20 Winter Faculty Fellowship Program


Taking place on December 26, 2019 – January 8, 2020, participants will travel throughout Israel meeting Israeli professors from their respective disciplines and with the same, or similar, research interests, all with the goal of developing collaborations, research projects, co-authoring articles, and establishing exchange programs between faculty and students. The tour, which more than 300 have already taken part in, is a fully-paid intensive program to Israel for full-time U.S.-based academics from a recognized university/learning institution. JNF-USA also runs the annual Caravan for Democracy Student leadership Mission to Israel, of which 80 college students will travel to Israel in December in addition to its Summer Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel, and a host of other trips and missions.   


This past summer 26 professors from universities and colleges across the nation took part in the annual Summer Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel. “The Faculty Fellowship program in Israel is a life-changing experience that tantalizes all the senses,” said Professor Molina Walters, STEM Education, Arizona State University. “One sees the life of Israel, hears the history of Israel, tastes the flavors of Israel, smells the aromas of Israel and feels the heart of Israel.”


Participating U.S.–based schools include: Texas A&M University, University at Albany, Allegheny College, University of Central Florida, Guilford College, University of Florida, University of Mississippi, Columbus State University, University at Albany, Stetson University, Rochester Institute of Technology, West Chester University, University of Maryland, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, George Washington University, Virginia Tech, Duke University, University of Maryland, Oregon State University, University of Connecticut, Mercer University, Cornell University, Michigan State University, University of South Florida, and Virginia Tech.


“It has been a while since I’ve been so deeply challenged physically, academically and emotionally as the two weeks I spent experiencing Israel with the JNF-USA Faculty Fellowship,” said Professor Vitor Mercadante, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech. “This is a truly transformative program and I will forever cherish the people I met and the moments I experienced in Israel.”


During the trip, the 29 participants, of whom 25 are program awardee recipients, will meet Israelis from all walks of life and will hear from a variety of speakers. They will also be exposed to contemporary Israeli society, culture, historical sites, the people and the way of life in Israel.  The academics meet with professionals and experts involved in government, industry, education, media, and other sectors to understand the many facets of Israel's evolving national and international policies. Those who take part will gain a deeper awareness of Israel as a ‘start-up nation,’ its success in water innovation, and how the country addresses regional and global challenges.


Jewish National Fund is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, Jewish National Fund is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.


To learn more about the universities and professors taking part in the 2019 Winter Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel or from prior years’, or to register for future programs, visit http://www.ff2israel.org/ or contact Rene Reinhard at 212.879.9305 ext. 235 or Eileen Wedeen at 212-439-7855.