Students Supporting Israel seeks to present facts


Mirella Lopez

Lauren Gutin, Students Supporting Israel president, reads a poster in the Hillel Center detailing a birthright trip.

by Paulette Villicana, Contributor

San Diego State’s Students Supporting Israel strives to promote Israel to students on campus.

SSI is an international campus organization that supports the state of Israel, as stated on the organization’s website.

San Diego State is home to one of many chapters on college campuses across the United States and Canada.

“Our mission is to promote Israel on campus to Jewish people and non-Jewish people,” said SDSU Students Supporting Israel President Lauren Gutin.

SSI representatives say they encourage students to seek factual information about Israel as opposed to framed media coverage in an effort to help students formulate their own opinions on Israel.

“I hope to speak to as many people as I can and help inform them about facts and stories and anything related to Israel that can help them formulate their opinion correctly regardless of if it is in my view or not,” Chair of Public Engagement Isaac Lutbak said. “I just want them to have the right facts and the right knowledge behind it.”

“I think that’s the ultimate goal, is to have dialogue and communication between people,” Lutbak said.

SSI members say Israel isn’t what is portrayed by “the media.”

They say Israel isn’t a war zone, but rather a beautiful country with a rich culture and a welcoming people.

The Hillel Center at SDSU also helps facilitate trips to Israel for SSI as well as other organizations on campus.

“A lot of us who are in the club have gone to Israel or have a connection with Israel, whether that’s religion or just a passion for it,” Gutin said.

“There’s a reason why we’re so passionate about it, and I want people to understand that passion.”

SDSU Students Supporting Israel’s board members meet once a week to discuss and plan future events, and hold a general body meeting every other week.

“At our last board meeting we were talking about how something we really want to make sure of is that every general body meeting we’re giving people education on Israel because that’s super important to us,” Campus Coalition Chair Delaney Kahlert said.

This story is featured as part of our Student Involvement Special Issue.