June 25, 2019 | 71° F

Race educates about Israel


Rutgers Hillel hosted its first-ever “The Amazing Race: Israel Edition,” an event that aims to teach students about the country, modeled after a similar Israeli television show.

Avia Prins, Rutgers Hillel’s Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, said students completed tasks at each of the five campuses’ student centers, learning about Israel and the University along the way.

Prins worked on organizing this event since the beginning of the semester and recruited students to assemble eight different Israel-themed stations, including ones that sell falafel, feature Israeli dancing and teach visitors about Israel.

The event started at WRSU-FM’s headquarters in the Rutgers Student Center at 10:30 a.m. yesterday, where students showed their pride by sporting Israeli flags on their clothing and wearing Israel Defense Force T-shirts.

The first team to identify the title and artist of an Israeli song earned a five-minute head start, she said.  After leaving the radio station, students needed to identify the location of Israel on a map outside the RSC.

Diana Diner, Hillel’s director of Israel Engagement, said the goal for this race was to teach students about Israel in broad terms with creative fashion.

“We tried to have this event be as educational and interactive as possible,” she said.  

Rachel Hess, a College of Nursing first-year student who participated in the event, said she watched videos of the show to prepare for the race.  

“We are doing this event to have fun and be with our friends,” she said.  “Also, we wanted to support Israel.”

Leah Shamilov, a Rutgers Business School junior, said she ran a race station that taught about innovation in Israel.

Shamilov, who visits Israel almost every year, said an Israeli invented the phone application Viber, which allows people to text and call internationally for free.

“I showed students a phone and had them guess which application was invented in Israel,” she said.

Another station challenged students to match names of Nobel Peace Prize winners with the correct prize, she said. Another station had students determine what games were created in Israel.

“I am excited to see the winners of this event,” Shamilov said. “It is great seeing people learn more about Israel in a fun and educational way.”  

She said the winning team received $200.

Shamilov has watched the Israeli edition of “The Amazing Race” and said the different campus locations replace traveling from country to country.

Aviv Alter, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, helped run the falafel station on Livingston campus.  

Students had to sell the sandwiches to customers at random, Alter said. After the students sold the sandwiches, they received a clue about their next location.  

“This is a fun idea and the station involves food, which is a large part of Israeli culture,” she said.


By Jessica Herring

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