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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Jerusalem LSA not threatened

Despite the intense violence in the Middle East throughout the last month, Dartmouth is still on track to send its first group of students to study in Jerusalem on the newly created Language Study Abroad plus in the summer of 2001.

The new program, which was formally approved several weeks ago, will take a group of Hebrew and Arabic language students to Hebrew University. Program Director and Hebrew professor Lewis Glinert expressed confidence that violence would subside in time for the trip.

"Current events in Israel are having no effect at present on the plans for an LSA in Jerusalem. It is extremely unlikely that such disturbances in Israeli areas will be allowed to continue for many weeks," Glinert wrote in a BlitzMail message to The Dartmouth.

"Our procedure, in this case as in all cases, will be to follow State Department guidelines in force when the time approaches," Glinert wrote.

At present, the U.S. State Department is advising a "worldwide caution" for all American travelers in Israel and elsewhere abroad.

On Oct. 13 the University of Pennsylvania recommended that its eight students spending the Fall term at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Haifa in northern Israel return to the United States promptly.

Penn's Director of the Office of International Programs, Joyce Randall, told The Dartmouth that this decision was based on input from the program's resident director in Israel, 10 Penn faculty members with expertise on the conflict and contacts at Hebrew University, as well as State Department reports.

Although Penn offered the eight students a full tuition reimbursement for Fall term and credit for their incomplete language courses if they returned home, all but one of the students elected to remain in the Middle East.

Penn also has several study abroad programs in the area scheduled to begin in Jan. of 2001. The university has not yet reached a decision on whether to conduct that program.

"After a lot of soul-searching, we initially said to the students planning on participating, 'We really don't think you want to go there in the spring.' They were very upset by this, so we said we'd give it more consideration. But by the middle of December we may have decided to cancel the program," Randolph said.

Ariel Rubin '03 and John Craven '03 are two students planning on participating in Dartmouth's program. Both students echoed Glinert's intent to go through with the LSA+.

"It's a risk every time you go to Israel, but I think it's worth it," Rubin said, adding, "for the most part, the fighting takes place in very specific areas."

Neither student felt they would consider the option of withdrawing from the LSA+.

"No, not at all," Craven said. "Even if there still is a bit of conflict, we'll probably still go. They take good care of us."

"I can't imagine a situation in which Dartmouth would still support the program and I would withdraw," Rubin said.

The application deadline for the Dartmouth's Jerusalem LSA is January 5, 2001. While the number of participants is not set, according to Glinert, "initial soundings suggest a lot of interest."

The College's LSA+ will offer intensive languages courses of levels 21, 22 and 23 in Hebrew and Arabic through faculty members at Hebrew University, as well as a Dartmouth course based on the history, geography and archaeology of Jerusalem taught by Glinert.