Masa Israel Teaching Fellows work in some of the most underfunded schools in Israel. They teach students who lack access to the books and supplies necessary for their education. However, at the December Masa Israel Leadership Summit, seven entrepreneurial Fellows took it upon themselves to bring attention to these issues and fundraise for the schools in which they work.

The December Leadership Summit featured the first ever NU Campaign AcTEEvism Workshop ever. For the first time, NU Campaign’s clients created their own campaign: from choosing a cause, to creating a message, and designing a shirt.

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Masa Israel Teaching Fellows’ “Education Matters” shirt via NU Campaign

“It’s a totally new idea for NU, where we empower students to be active for things they are passionate about,” explained David Kramer, Founder and CEO of the Israeli crowd-funding platform that creates customized apparel to raise awareness and funds for a cause, charity, event, project, or business.

“David told us about the company and was like ‘I’ve talked enough. Now you guys have to come up with your own design and campaign,’” Marni Balint, a Fellow in Netanya, remembered. “’If I like it, we’ll put it up on the website.’”

Whereas everyone participating in the workshop was a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, Arielle Goldfarb, Lauren Kivowitz, Marni Balint, Rachel Beckman, Rachel Leeds, Samantha Bear, and Talya Sterling created a campaign for the cause that brought them to Israel – the cause that they are already dedicating a year of their lives to – improving Israel’s education system.

It was also apparent to David that, as Masa Israel Teaching Fellows who work in Israel’s socioeconomic periphery, each member of the group had personally experienced the desperate need for the equal distribution of supplies and resources to Israel’s schools.

Rachel Beckman, a Bostonian who teaches in Petach Tikvah, works with students who do not have the right books or materials for their classes because neither their parents nor their schools can afford them. “As an educator, I am saddened to see that students are left behind or bored in class because they do not have access to the tools they need.”

David also saw a group of passionate young professionals who had a clear mission.  “I just grabbed a marker and started drawing,” Marni explained. “We wanted an open book and then everyone just added to the design.” At the end of the workshop, the NU Campaign founder and CEO took a picture and sent it to his design team. The Education Matters campaign launched one month later, on the NU Campaign website.

For many of the involved Fellows, the campaign only strengthened their resolve to change the lives of Israeli students. “It’s all about making a difference, one student at a time,” said Talya Sterling, a Cleveland native teaching in Petach Tikvah.

For more information and to support the campaign, visit Education Matters.

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