By Jessica Feldman
Sports Copy Editor
Before coming to the University of Maryland, Jonathan Allen knew he wanted to get involved with an organization that had a passion share his passion for pro-Israel activism and in just three semesters, he has found that in Terps for Israel.
Terps for Israel is an advocacy group that is committed to advocating for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship on campus and on Capitol Hill, according to the organization’s mission statement. In his fourth semester at this university, Allen, an economics and government and politics major, leads the team as President.
“It’s an issue that’s always been really important to me, and I actually got late to my first day of classes because I was meeting with the President of Terps for Israel trying to join it,” Allen said. “It was one of the first things I wanted to join when I came to the university.”
Whether it’s holding educational events, bringing students to lobby on Capitol Hill or hosting speakers, the organization is constantly finding new ways to educate the campus community on the issue, and Allen oversees it all. An event the organization has coming up on Feb. 23, is hosting Aaron David Miller, an author and educator who helped formulate U.S. policy in the Middle East.
“Bringing people like him onto campus and people with credentials in the field, people who know about the topic to speak to students and educate them is so important,” Allen said.
Allen started educating himself on U.S.-Israel relations back at Scheck Hillel Community School in North Beach Miami, FL. When he lived home in Miami, he was able to meet important officials who fought for change on his behalf.
“People our age have more power than we realize,” Allen explained. “Israel has always been a really important place to me, both as an American and as a Jew. I think Israel shares a lot of the same values as the U.S. in a region that doesn’t. It’s the only democracy in the region, so I think it’s important to stand up for our ally.”
Jenn Miller, a government and politics major and political chair for the organization, praised Allen’s ability to strengthen Terps for Israel.
“Since joining the Terps for Israel team last spring, Jonathan has been nothing but a great leader, mentor and friend,” Miller said. “He is a fantastic asset to TFI and I don’t think our programming and activism would be nearly as strong as it is without him. His hard work and dedication are truly a labor of love.”
Allen recognizes that Terps for Israel is one of the few organizations on campus that fights for the cause, and that only pushes him to do more.
“If I don’t, then I don’t know who will,” he said. “It’s not like there are thousands of people on campus advocating for it, so I think it’s necessary to have a voice and presence on this campus, where we are surrounded by the future leaders of our country.”