The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Photo by Courtesy

Sergio Lopez and Angel Rivera participated in the Heroes to Heroes trip to Israel and will speak about their experiences at the presentation Thursday. 

The veteran support organization Heroes to Heroes is partnering with the Jewish National Fund in a college campus speaking tour, which will visit A&M for a presentation at the Hillel Center Thursday at 7:00.
Heroes to Heroes runs a program which helps veterans suffering from PTSD and are struggling to re-integrate into civilian life by taking them on a trip to the nation of Israel, a country where all citizens are required to undergo a period of military service. Today, Heroes to Heroes will be host two American veterans who have suffered from PTSD, Sergio Lopez and Angel Rivera, to speak on their experience with the organization during their trip to Israel and how it helped them to cope with the challenges many veterans face.
Arielle Levy, Director of Israel Advocacy and Young Leadership Development in the Jewish National Fund, said the trip was created to benefit veterans.  
“[Many veterans] are struggling with coming back to life at home and are having a lot of trouble with their family,” Levy said. “And so when they go to Israel for 10 days, in Israel you have serve in the military. So they feel that they blend into society more … so that’s why they chose Israel to send them to for 10 days. And there’s a few steps in just them coping with their PTSD and how to overcome it.”
Levy said one of the Jewish National Fund’s goal in this event is to educate college campuses on the positive aspects of the nation of Israel.
“Everything we do is for Israel,” Levy said. “We say we’re the caretakers of the land and the people of Israel. We have seven different focus areas that we work with, and one of them is Israel Advocacy and Education. A part of this is that we want to focus on Positively Israel, and bringing this positive message of the good things happening Israel that people don’t usually see. We don’t talk about politics; we’re an apolitical and a-religious organization.”
Nelson France, Director of Campus and High School Affairs for the Jewish National Fund, said these events are an effort by the JNF to bring awareness to the organization Heroes to Heroes and efforts they make to help veterans.
“We work as an organization with college campuses to bring what we call Positively Israel programming to campus,” France said. “The purpose of [this speaking tour] is to raise awareness about the Heroes to Heroes organization as well as to educate and engage college students about these veterans’ experience having visited Israel. [The Jewish National Fund] is just so honored and proud that we’re able to raise awareness about Heroes to Heroes on a few college campuses this week.”

Rabbi Matt Rosenberg, executive director of the Hillel Center, said he strives for a strong partnership and collaboration between Hillel and the Jewish National Fund in their efforts to show support for Israel.
“Whenever [the JNF] has a program that they can help us with they let us know,” Rosenberg said. “There are plenty of political and academic leaders who are going on tour. They’ve brought in lecturers and politicians to speak about Israel. We had an Israel fair on campus a couple of weeks ago, and we’re taking about a dozen student leaders to Washington D.C. this weekend for the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) policy conference.”
The presentation will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday March 23rd at the Hillel Center.

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