Campus Edition FAQs

IMG_20151018_144143262

What is Resetting the Table?

Resetting the Table (RTT) builds the capacity of American Jews to talk, study, and deliberate together on Israel across differences in background and views. Through intensive training, skilled facilitation and institutional consultation, RTT aims to transform dominant norms of communication on Israel from avoidance and antagonism toward collaborative deliberation. A national initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, RTT has no positional agenda. Rather, RTT seeks to build constructive and direct conversation on some of the most important and fraught issues facing the Jewish people.

How will the Campus Edition Fellowship program accommodate my campus’s specific needs?

RTT works closely with each campus cohort to design a program customized to your community’s unique landscape and needs. Some campuses want to learn communication skills, others need education from multiple perspectives, while still others want social events geared toward bringing diverse groups together. This is not a “one size fits all” approach; rather, we work with you to help you realize your desired impact drawing from Resetting the Table’s celebrated approach to dialogue on Israel across passionate differences.

How much will this cost my campus?

All costs associated with in-person training (travel, accommodations, room and board) and consultations for your Resetting the Table Fellowship are provided for free due to a generous grant from the UJA Federation of New York. There will be additional funding available to support campus conversations and programs that develop out of this fellowship. The package of training, consultation, and programmatic stipends each campus will receive is valued at $15,000.

Who should apply for this program?

Just as different schools may have dramatically different histories and needs around Israel, campuses will have different reasons for applying to participate in the Campus Edition Fellowship. Some of these may be:

  • To improve relationships and communication among Jewish student groups and leaders who are at odds over Israel or avoiding their differences, as well as among board, staff, faculty, students, community groups, and other stakeholders in the campus conversation
  • To transform and/or heal from recent tensions on Israel and the impacts they have had on the Jewish community, and build a framework for conflict prevention as well as reconciliation once conflicts have arisen
  • To compel students who have been turned off or intimidated by the existing landscape of Israel engagement options, and who are looking for a space of open exploration, discussion, inquiry and curiosity

I’m thinking that my Engagement Associate or Israel Fellow would be perfect to supervise this project, do you agree?

The supervisor for this Fellowship should be someone who has a good understanding of your campus culture, is committed to be on campus for the next few years, and has prior experience with Israel dialogue on your campus. For this reason, in most cases, an Israel Fellow or Engagement Associate is not recommended to supervise this Fellowship. On many campuses the Executive Director, Assistant Director, a Rabbi, or Jewish Educator are likely to be the best people to supervise. If you have questions or would like to talk this through please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Who are the right students for this Fellowship?

We will help you recruit and select the two students for this Fellowship after we select your campus.  

The two main qualities of a student Fellow are that they should be a “doer” and a “connector” able to have productive conversations with people who hold opinions different from theirs. What we mean by a “doer” is a student who gets things done and has the energy, enthusiasm and social networks to bring diverse groups together to have conversations about Israel. It is completely fine, and in fact encouraged, that these students have their own opinions about Israel, however that cannot get in the way of their ability to convene conversations with others that may (and hopefully will) have very different opinions than them.  But don’t worry, we will teach them how to do this!  Students selected must be able to sustain empathy and centeredness amidst heated conversation, even in the presence of views significantly different than their own. They do not need to have any particular background or formal training to apply.

Ideally, students will be more than a year away from graduation so as to maximize the impact of their participation on campus.

Can the students we select already be active in another Fellowship or Internship?

Absolutely.  If the students meet the criteria in the question above, we welcome them as part of your campus team.  This can include a current Peer Network Engagement Intern, Ask Big Questions Fellow, Student leader, etc…  We are also happy to welcome students who are new to the Fellowship scene. 

What is the time commitment?

The Fellowship begins with a 3-day retreat on January 24-25, 2016. Attendance at the retreat is mandatory. Thereafter, commitment levels will depend on what each school decides to do and how much bandwidth Fellows and staff wish to and are able to dedicate. Resetting the Table staff will meet with each school in February and March to plan and/or begin to implement the programmatic choices made by each school. Hillel staff and RTT Campus Fellows will be responsible for marketing and recruiting participants and audiences to the events and/or programming they choose to host. Most programs will be facilitated by Resetting the Table staff or RTT-trained facilitators, but students and staffed will be involved with program design choices and general preparations.

How does this interact with our other Israel programming?

Resetting the Table is intended to complement rather than compete with existing Israel programming and Israel groups on campus, including Israel advocacy, activism, educational, and cultural organizations. Resetting the Table often uniquely contributes to the Israel landscape on campus by:

  • Bringing together students across the siloes of diverse Israel engagement groups along with unaffiliated students
  • Training students who have been papering over their differences or dismissing each other in the face of them to investigate their disagreements skillfully and productively, in ways that build relationship and lead to learning
  • Attracting students who have been alienated or intimidated by other Israel engagement opportunities or who would not otherwise have “come in the door”
  • Offering a space for open-ended, multi-vocal, and non-prescriptive discussion, learning, and exploration, rather than the more ideological ways that “Israel education” generally takes place
  • Supporting students to explore and exchange own stories and life experiences on Israel, determining and deliberating over their own hopes, priorities, and values in relation to the State of Israel

What have you done on other campuses?

In 2014-15, RTT brought training and programs to 13 campuses across the country, including a 6 campus partnership with Hillel International that trained Hillel professionals and student leaders (U of Washington, U of Oregon, UCLA, SF State, USC, Loyola Marymount University, Princeton, Harvard, University of Michigan, Vassar, Queens, Hunter and Columbia). In 2015-16, in addition to the NYC Campus Edition Program, RTT will offer a year-long Fellowship for Hillel professionals and students including 7 first-year schools (UMass Amherst, Tufts, Syracuse, Harvard, University of Vermont, and University of Michigan) and 4 second-year schools (U of Washington, SF State, UCLA and LMU). RTT will also launch a new partnership with the Avi Schaeffer Fund to bring RTT programs, trainers and facilitators to 10 additional campuses. Read testimonials from our campus programs here.

How do I apply?

Fill out this application online by Friday, December 4. Resetting the Table staff will be in touch after we receive your application with information about next steps.