Much work, many dedicated individuals and countless hours and recruiting trips later, and we are going into our 2017-2018 academic year with over 2000 students from 86 countries around the world. As an oleh, former lone soldier, reserve officer and former Jewish Agency emissary, I was encouraged by the Zionist ethos on which Prof. Reichman established and built this start-up university called IDC Herzliya, and decided to join its ranks and make it my home.
This humanitarian form of Zionism based on the idealism of Herzl, Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion and Begin has carried IDC Herzliya from its very inception to the present day. We pride ourselves on providing our students with an array of programs and benefits, which impact Israel and the world in a variety of ways as our students graduate and enter the professional world in their chosen fields.
TLC for our brothers in arms
It goes without saying that the IDF is an integral part of Israel and its people. In addition to mandatory military service, a vast majority of former soldiers also serve in annual military reserves. These people are taken out of their lives and routines to play their part in ensuring the safety and security of the State of Israel.
While all former soldiers and reservists are cherished at IDC, special admission slots are reserved for former military personnel who show leadership potential – especially those who served as commanders and officers, or those who serve(d) in combat. Certain admissions criteria (such as the psychometric exam) are waived for these young people, as they have already shown their leadership potential, devotion, trustworthiness and so on. We also give special attention to those who served as lone soldiers and give them extra TLC for choosing to leave behind their families, friends and lives, making their way to Israel and serving this country.
The university has a special division within the Student Union, the Brian Knez Center for the Welfare of IDF Reserve Soldiers, to assist the reservists, and they work tirelessly to protect each and every reservists rights, whether social, academic, practical and, in some cases, financial.
Within the RRIS, 150 of our students are graduates of Garin Tzabar who served as lone soldiers during their army service, and we continue to provide them with any bureaucratic assistance that they may need.
We also enjoy knowing that at least 70% of the students who study with us choose to make Aliyah, either during or after their studies, and make their homes and futures in the State of Israel. For those who return home, or choose other destinations, they join the ranks of active ambassadors for Israel and usually take leadership roles in their communities in some form or another.
A new generation of leaders
Our Israel at Heart Ethiopian Scholarship program is another stalwart Zionist initiative established by long-time IDC supporters Joey and Carol Low, Prof. Reichman and Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, former Israel Education Minister.
This program takes top graduates from the army and national service and provides them with full tuition and a host of other benefits, to enable them to attain their degrees and graduate with positions in leading companies in their chosen fields. With around 50 students annually, and over 100 graduates to date, the impact of the program is beginning to ripple.
Making the case for Israel
Launched just a few years ago, the Act.IL program has allowed IDC to show its dedication to making the case for Israel via social media platforms. Act.IL is a joint venture of the Israeli American Council (IAC), the Maccabee Task Force Foundation and IDC, based on IDCs Situation Room that was founded during Operations Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Protective Edge in 2014.
Founded by IDC graduates, the stated goal of Act.IL is to positively inform and influence foreign publics and create an efficient and effective battle against the growing trend of the boycott movement (BDS) and the delegitimization of the State of Israel by creating an online community that will act to promote a positive influence on the international public opinion towards the state of Israel via social media platforms. Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.
The Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy, under Amb. Ron Prosor, who holds the Samson Family Chair for Israel Public Diplomacy within the Institute, is focused on taking on the UNs disproportionate discrimination of Israel and fighting the global BDS movement. He and his team are tackling this issue on a number of fronts and making great strides.
Were, of course, ever proud of our two leading conferences – the Herzliya Conference, under the direction of Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amos Gilead, and the International Conference for Counter-Terrorism, under Prof. Boaz Ganor. Both conferences focus on key aspects of Israels strategic, political, financial and security issues, within the context of the Middle East and in relation to the world at large, albeit from very different angles.
IDC Herzliyas two special programs, the Rabin Leadership Program and the Argov Fellows Program in Leadership and Diplomacy are just another two rungs on IDCs Zionist ladder, both charged with the mission to train Israels future leaders to better serve the country and its citizens.
The Rabin program, supported by the Strauss Family, is a year-round program comprised of courses from top professors on different aspects of leadership such as decision-making, persuasion, psychology of leadership etc., as well as practical workshops and excursions to social organizations, and meetings with top-ranked policy makers and social leaders in order to develop essential skills of social entrepreneurship and leadership.
The Argov program, established by Gideon Argov in memory of his dear father, the late Amb. Shlomo Argov, seeks to prepare around 20 exceptional IDC students in their final year of B.A studies for future leadership positions in Israel and in the Jewish world. Through a year-long, challenging interdisciplinary curriculum, the program aims to help the students acquire the knowledge, tools, skills and critical thinking abilities necessary for working towards meeting the many challenges that Israel faces in todays complex global environment. The hope is that students graduating from these programs will choose to dedicate their careers to NGOs, Government roles and other like positions in the social service arena.
IDC Herzliya is forever grateful to the Alexander Muss High School In Israel, The Israeli American Council (Iac), Garin Tzabar, Heseg, Hillel, Israel At Heart, Israel Ministry of Education, Israel Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency, WZO, The Jewish Federations, Masa, Nefesh BNefesh, Olim organizations, Stand With Us, Student Authority, Taglit Birthright Israel and the Zionist Youth Movements for their devoted Zionist work and dedicated partnerships in helping IDC Herzliya strive on with its Zionist goals year after year. We are proud that Prof. Reichman serves on the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency and works to ensure our mutual Zionist interests.
Studying at IDC Herzliya
Year after year, IDC Herzliya is ranked number one in student satisfaction in nation-wide surveys of 10,000 students at 60 universities and colleges. In addition to the pleasant American-style college atmosphere and all the great social and extra-curricular options available to IDC students, it is surely the superb faculty that is responsible for much of the students enthusiasm. IDCs Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS) is very proud of its diverse student body and all of its students invariably mention the opportunity of making friends from so many different cultures as one of the major advantages of studying at IDC.
RRIS is the only institution in Israel that offers a wide variety of excellent full-degree BA programs taught entirely in English: Psychology, Business (with majors in Finance, Marketing or Entrepreneurship), Business and Economics, Communications (majors in Marketing and Political Communications, Visual Content or Interactive Communications), Government (majors in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, Middle East Studies, Counter Terrorism or Business Administration) and the new Computer Science program. The Arison School of Business and the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship offer a selective one-year MBA program taught in English that focuses on the management of fast-growth, innovative companies. There are two different tracks: Business Strategy and Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Jonathan Davis is the Vice President for External Relations and Head of the Raphael Recanati International School, IDC Herzliya. For more information about studying at IDC Herzliya or to arrange a visit of the campus, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rris.idc.ac.il.