Breslow awarded Emerson Fellowship

Michael Schreiber

Frederick Breslow, a sophomore, pre-med, classics major and a member of the Campus Organization for Israel, has received an Emerson Fellowship for the 2008-09 year. The fellowship was awarded by StandWithUs, a self-described “non-profit, international Israel education organization.”
The Emerson Fellowship, awarded annually, selects 38 students from 38 colleges to “act as ambassadors to college campuses and as advocates for honest reporting in the Middle East,” said Breslow.
Breslow was inspired to apply for the Emerson Fellowship by recent Lawrence graduate Steve Swedberg, who was an Emerson Fellow the previous year. Using support from StandWithUs, Swedberg was able to bring to campus “big-name speakers such as Harvey Kushner,” said Breslow. Breslow spoke of Swedberg’s fellowship as a “great launching point for more programming in the future.”
Though he says he would promote awareness of the issues facing Israel through COFI even without the help of the Emerson Fellowship, Breslow said that his efforts can now be grander in scope with the support that StandWithUs provides.
“The Emerson Fellowship allows me access to a plethora of materials and a network of individuals that act as sustenance for what I would do anyway with COFI,” said Breslow.
Breslow. “StandWithUs provides me with funding, gives me access to media contacts and big-name speakers, possesses the rights for me to show countless films, and has several PhDs on staff [whom I can contact].”
In order to gain access to all of these resources, Breslow had to go through a long application and training process. Breslow said that he initially completed a number of questionnaires that would provide StandWithUs “a sense of how I would proceed with fulfilling their mission on campus.”
As the application process advanced, Breslow had to be “more dynamic” with his responses, demonstrating exactly how he would be an asset to StandWithUs.
“It was a litmus test for what you could bring to campus,” said Breslow. “I knew that there were erudite, not lethargic students at Lawrence who simply lacked information to make good decisions about the Middle East. I was analyzing what I saw at Lawrence my freshman year and bringing that perspective to StandWithUs.”
Following the application process during last year’s spring term, Breslow was accepted as an Emerson Fellow over the summer. At the end of the summer, Breslow attended StandWithUs workshops and lectures at a seminar in Los Angeles, and it was “organic growth from there,” he said.
Breslow, who comes from “a Jewish, multicultural background,” said he finds the Emerson Fellowship important, because “many don’t have the facts to form a legitimate opinion” in matters concerning Israel. He said that he hopes to address that problem throughout the year.
This issue “should be important to everyone,” Breslow said. “Truth is its own convincer, and I am providing a forum that is free and accessible for sharing information.”
Breslow’s first major event on campus was a film screening that took place Monday, Oct. 27. The film, “The Road to Jenin,” was by Pierre Rehov.
According to the director’s Web site at http://www.pierrerehov.com/, the film “depicts a moral Israeli army fighting a just war against armed Palestinians in a hotbed of terrorism.”
If you would like to help Breslow with his efforts by joining COFI, he urges you to contact him by e-mail at frederick.m.breslow@lawrence.edu.
Breslow said he would also love to hear from officers of other campus groups who might like to form a coalition with COFI and co-host events dealing with the Middle East, human rights, civil rights and other important issues.

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