Rachel Lester, 21, is a student at the University of Southern California majoring in cognitive science and minoring in digital studies. She has spent six months of the last two years in Israel between Birthright, a semester off from school to volunteer on IDF bases, and a summer internship in Tel Aviv. Rachel has been both an Israel advocate and amateur video-editor for several years, but only recently combined the two when she made Harry Potter and the Threats to Israel for a class project in October.
“There are so many incredible aspects of Israel and Israeli contributions to the world, but only a few get promoted on a regular basis, Lester said. “When I advocate for Israel, my goal is to get you excited about something you didn’t already know. I’ve heard the fact that that Israel has more startups per capita than anywhere else besides Silicon Valley and that Israel invented cell phone technology and pacemakers and cherry tomatoes so many times — but I know so many amazing things about Israel that aren’t being actively promoted.
“When I heard about this video contest and started thinking of lesser-known aspects of Israel that I wanted to get out there, I thought of all my friends who are soldiers in the IDF and all the horrible lies I’ve seen written about the IDF online. I thought that, no matter your political opinion on Israel, you need to know that Israel has the most moral army in the world, and that I could make a video that showed that. I also thought about the week I spent living in and volunteering at Save A Child’s Heart last year and wanted a way to include that too, so the video became about Israel’s incredible humanitarian aid in different forms.”