Wanted: Applicants for the Haas/Koshland Award for a Year in Israel
If you’re a college student and yearn to travel to Israel, you just might get that trip. Applications are now being accepted for the Haas/Koshland Memorial Award which provides up to $20,000 for a year of study or personal development in Israel. The award is open to all Jewish college students—sophomore year through graduate school—who are from, or are attending school in, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Last year’s award recipient, Catherine Damon, was thrilled to be chosen.
“With a Jewish-turned-Buddhist father and a mother raised nothing (though rumors had it that Grandma was disowned by her Jewish parents), my family always had one foot out the synagogue so to speak. I did not attend Hebrew school, celebrate a Bat Mitzvah, or have a Jewish name. Yet I dreamed of visiting Israel since I was small.”
As an undergraduate Catherine studied the Near East and forged her own personal connection to Judaism. On graduating she boarded a plane to Jerusalem for a five month arts program. Once submerged in Israel her interests shifted from ancient to modern, personal to communal and she was inspired to create visual tools for coexistence education. “My short trip inspired a long term goal: creating visual tools for coexistence education.”
For Catherine, the Haas/Koshland Memorial Award has enabled her to follow her dream. She has been accepted into Tel Aviv University’s Middle Eastern Studies graduate program where she will study Hebrew and Arabic and participate in the dialogue between and about different groups living in Israel. She hopes to make short films that would synthesize history and art to investigate their effectiveness in coexistence education.