The multimedia course, which is already offered on-line through Jerusalem Online University (jerusalemuniversity.com), will feature films, readings, maps, news clippings, and guest speakers, including Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi. The course will cover three time spans dating back to 4,000 years of Jewish history: the history of Israel in ancient times, Zionism to the birth of the modern state, and post-statehood to the present. This is the first time the course is being offered “live” in the United States, its organizers said.
Vilko, a member of the synagogue who met Galloway in a local women’s group, was struck after meeting one Israeli woman whose college son “couldn’t defend himself against the students who were campaigning against Israel.” Recognizing that this may be “a growing problem to people maybe under 40,” she started talking to others involved with advocacy efforts. She established a pro-Israel “salon” that meets monthly in her home.
Galloway is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville and an adjunct professor at the College of New Jersey, Rider University, and Mercer County Community College.
“They’re always quick to pull the trigger on Israel,” said Galloway, who is concerned with “the plight of Palestinian women” and noted that the reality of honor killings against Arab women “doesn’t get mentioned much.”
Galloway also would like to see greater American support for the Jewish state. “Israel basically has been America’s constant friend since its birth 60-plus years ago,” but “we’re not always there for Israel.” She is also seeking to educate the national leadership of her own Presbyterian church, who in recent months have debated resolutions critical of Israel.