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Press Release – 25 May 2009

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Zionist Council of Victoria to host scholar-in-residence from leading Israel advocacy group StandWithUs

Michelle Rojas from the Israel Advocacy organisation StandWithUs (www.standwithus.com; www.standwithus.co.il) will be a guest of the Zionist Council of Victoria from May 28 to June 4.

Michelle, 24 is originally from the US and has a compelling personal story about the September 11, 2001 terror attacks which relate directly to how she became involved in the world of Israel Advocacy. She now lives in Israel and manages Diaspora Education for the organisation StandWithUs touring the world speaking to groups, primarily students.

Michelle Rojas began her work at StandWithUs in the spring of 2005 in Israel, while studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a Seinfeld Family Scholar. During that period, she took part in the Ambassadors’ training course at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Upon return to New York, she served for 2 years as the StandWithUs Community Outreach Coordinator for the East Coast working with numerous organizations including the Israeli Consulate, Conference of Presidents and JCRC-NY, planning rallies, speaker events and activism training sessions.

Michelle left the US and made Israel her home in July 2007, joining the StandWithUs International team as Diaspora Education Manager. In her position, Michelle coordinates all programs for International students in Israel including the flagship, “Ambassadors’ Club” at the IDC Herzliya – Raphael Recanati International School of Communications. Additionally, Michelle provides training for numerous youth groups and other year programs in Israel including Bnei Akiva, The Alexander Muss School and the Legacy Heritage High School interns. Michelle also handles outreach and support to activists abroad having last year traveled to both South Africa and Turkey in order to work with local communities on improving their efforts in Israel Education and Advocacy.

While in Melbourne, Michelle will be addressing Jewish day school high school students, university groups and synagogues over Shavuot.

Michelle will be guest speaker for the second screening of Alan Dershowitz’s landmark documentary “Case for Israel”, to be held on Monday evening June 1st at the Classic Cinema, Elsternwick. The film premiered in Melbourne on May 14 to a sell-out audience. The second screening will be co-hosted by the Zionist Council of Victoria, National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Vic) and WIZO Victoria. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by contacting WIZO on 9272 5588, wizo@wizovic.org, or the National Council of Jewish Women on 9523 0535, office@ncjwa.org.au.

Following her visit to Melbourne, Michelle Rojas will be in Sydney from June 4 to 9, as a guest of the State Zionist Council of NSW.
For more information contact:
Elly Shalev – Public Affairs Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5519; 0400 313 197
Ginette Searle – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544; 0412 251 343
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The Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel