Update: study abroad in Israel

07-14-2006

Since we’ve been talking about study abroad, here’s another brief update on one of our programs:

Violence in the Middle East is once again on the rise. MSU currently has nine undergraduate students participating in Ken Waltzer’s Jewish studies program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and two other MSU students are enrolled directly in the university there.

MSU administrators and our Office of Study Abroad have been in close contact with Ken for updates. This morning the MSU Study Abroad Security and Risk Assessment Committee and Incident Command Team met to assess the situation.

Because Jerusalem is approximately 80 miles from the Israel/Lebanon border—which is currently the focus of the military actions—we have decided not to evacuate, but to continue monitoring events. At present, the U.S. State Department has not issued any statement or warning regarding the situation.

Program participants have been reminded that personal safety issues have not changed and have been urged to phone home, as well as to stay on top of the latest developments in the news.

For the most part, Waltzer reports that it’s “business as usual” around Israel, with the exception of the north where the current conflict is unfolding. Nevertheless, contingency plans are in place in case the fighting spreads, and MSU administrators and the Office of Study Abroad are continuing to work closely with our partners in Israel, getting the most recent information from the State Department, doing all we can to assure the safety and security of our people.

I’ll post any updates here.

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