|Frisch students express their support for Israel using the school’s technological resources. Courtesy of the Frisch School|
Students at Frisch are using technology to express their support for Israel, said Rabbi Menachem Hecht, a teacher at the Paramus school and faculty adviser to its American Israel Student Action Committee.
“A major component of the new Frisch campus is the ever-expanding amount of technology for the use of our students and teachers. As part of their own e-campaign, Frisch students have been using that technology to show their support for Israel,” he said.
Using Frisch’s WiFi network, AISAC members have set up a laptop station outside of the school’s beit midrash (group study hall), where students can write letters to their elected representatives in Washington, expressing their support for the Jewish state.
According to Hecht, a “Gaza War media center” is set up next to the laptop, enabling students to remain informed about events in Israel by viewing videos from the Israel Defense Forces and various international news outlets.
The e-campaign idea was developed by Frisch sophomores Yahav Ben-Shoan of Paramus and Ayelet Hochman of Teaneck.
“We recognized how important it is for our elected officials to continue to support Israel,” said Ayelet. “This campaign allowed us to do that in a coordinated and instantaneous way.”
“We also wanted to have an instant impact on how the media covered the war in Gaza,” explained Ayelet. “Thanks to the laptop station, students were able to easily write letters to the media regarding their errors and biases in their coverage.”
In addition to the laptop station, students are also making use of the recently created Frisch Wiki Space. A wiki allows users to create and edit Web page content using any Web browser.
“Through the use of wiki technology, laptop computers, and wireless Internet, students can easily post sample letters for their classmates to write to politicians and the news media and keep everyone informed about the latest developments from Israel,” said Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky, director of educational technology. “The mobile lab set up in the front of school with large monitors streaming news from Israel and laptops opened to the Frisch wiki keeps the students constantly updated and lets them respond to current events through immediate activism on behalf of Israel.”
Students are also taking advantage of Frisch’s new e-mail exchange server to send out blast e-mails to the student body asking them to sign various online petitions, said Pittinsky.
“Frisch students have always led the way when it comes to supporting Israel,” said Hecht. “At Frisch, we stress a multi-pronged approach when it comes to Israel activism. We believe that we must act both physically and spiritually.”
The teacher said that “spiritually, our students have responded to this crisis in their davening and in their learning.” He pointed out that more than 100 students gathered on their own time after school last week to hold a “learn-a-thon” in honor of Israeli soldiers serving in combat.
“Our students recognize the importance of Israel activism and understand that they have a responsibility to support Israel in every way possible,” said Hecht. “In addition to the e-campaign, we are also stressing other physical ways that our students can get involved, including collecting supplies that will be sent to soldiers who are serving in the Israeli army.”
He noted, as well, that Frisch students participate in Israel advocacy activities throughout the year, citing the annual Washington trip of the senior class “to meet with members of Congress to discuss issues related to Israel and the Mideast.”