Efrat Minivitzki (I 05, CSF 06) heard about IIPES in Greece while she was a political science student at Tel Aviv University and she decided to apply on a whim. Out of a large pool of applicants, Efrat was accepted.
Minivitzki says that she didn’t believe in life-changing experiences prior to attending IIPES. Her time in Greece, however, completely changed her opinion. IIPES “not only provided me the opportunity to meet with young leaders, who later became my good friends, but also exposed me to great professors and inspiring classes…This unique experience can improve understanding between Israelis and others, as well as provide an opportunity for developing long-term relationships,” she said.
After returning home from Greece, Minivitzki did what so many TFAS alumni do – she shared her unforgettable experience in Crete with friends and classmates whom she felt would benefit from the program.
“After such an experience, I feel that I have to do the best I can in order to recruit other Israelis for IIPES, and to nominate as many young leaders as I can,” said Minivitzki.
Era Segev (I 07), then a student of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, was one of the friends Minivitzki recruited for IIPES. She too was accepted and, in the summer of 2007, made her way to Greece. To Segev, the best part about IIPES was the opportunity to get to know students from around the world. Talking to students from Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority helped her understand the Arab-Israeli conflict from their perspective, a perspective that she previously hadn’t heard in the media.
Upon returning home, Era says that she was filled with hope regarding the future.
“Even after many arguments and disagreements, all the students had one thing in common, one goal – peace. From now on, I am sure that no matter where I go or what line of work I’ll be in, this message will always be with me,” said Segev.
Just as Minivitzki did, Segev also decided to share her experience in Greece with her friends and classmates. Her professors at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya allowed her to make presentations about IIPES during class and four of her classmates who heard her presentations – Ariel Baum (I 08), Tal Gonen (I 08), Itamar Ronen (I 08) and Matan Safran (I 08) – decided to apply. They were accepted and all four attended the 2008 Institute.
“Era told me that this program will put things into perspective and that talking to and living with people with different agendas will help to shape my own ideas regarding many international issues,” said Itamar Ronen who decided to apply for IIPES after hearing about Segev’s experience.
The tradition of spreading the word about IIPES continued even after the 2008 Institute, as Ronen and Ariel Baum recruited three students – Nuphar Schwartz (I 09), Ory Vishkin (I 09) and Dana Elman (I 09) – who all were accepted to IIPES 2009.
Starting with Efrat in 2005, eight additional Israeli students were given the opportunity to attend IIPES. In the summer of 2009, almost 40% of applicants to a TFAS International Institute heard about our programs from an alumnus.
Help keep this grassroots recruitment tradition alive! Recruit friends, family members or classmates to attend any TFAS institute HERE.