What's next on the agenda? Meetings are held at Cafe Zeb in Boalt Law School 12pm-2pm every Friday


A Belated 'Welcome Back' From Our Chapter!

Hello, olives and supporters, and welcome back from what we hope was a restful break.

Over the brief recess, the Berkeley olives parted ways to embark on their own adventures. Some went back home, where they were able to spend time with loved ones. Others journeyed to different parts of the world, either as participants of different programs, or on their own, to see the sights. And a small delegation was fortunate enough to pick up where we left off this summer, traveling to the region and completing the OTI 7 trip with the other university chapters of the initiatives. Hopefully, you will join us at our Welcome Back, Olives event- date and time to be announced- where the olives will be sharing their myriad of experiences abroad.

Perhaps we were feeling extremely motivated from our different trips, because when we got back to Cal, the first thing we did was attend a Leadership Summit hosted by one of our members. The summit was a great way for us to re-orient ourselves and connect with national and with the wider campus community. You will see this in the upcoming events that we have planned, so keep an eye out!

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Tonight's Meeting: Refugees and the Right of Return

Hello, hello, and happy Thursday, everyone!

We here at the Olive Tree Initiative hope that the week has been productive and relaxing, and that you all have fun plans this weekend.

At tonight's meeting, we will be hosting a presentation and group discussion on the issue of refugees and the right of return. We are hoping for a great turn out, and encourage everyone to bring a friend or two. This is a great opportunity to learn more about this nuanced topic, to hear different perspectives on it, and even to share your own.

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Tonight's Meeting: Nahida Halaby Gordon

Hello, everyone! We here at the Olive Tree Initiative hope that you are enjoying this beautiful fall weather and that your week has been going wonderfully so far.

Tonight, we ask you to join us in welcoming Nahida Halaby Gordon, a Palestinian rights activist who helped lead the Presbyterian Church's divestment movement. She will be speaking about divestment, so please come prepared to engage in a discussion about this topic.

Additionally, this weekend, OTI at Cal's leadership will be joining the leadership of other chapters at a retreat in Big Bear. This retreat has been divided into two portions, the first portion serving as an organization-wide retreat and the second as a boot camp for members who are attending the continuation of this past summer's Olive Tree Initiative student delegate trip. We are excited to make use of this productive space to discuss chapter and organization improvements, and also to meet new members.

Until next time, and the very best of wishes,
Nisa Dang
Director of Public Relations and Media Outreach

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This Week: Film Screening and Stone Throwing

Hello, hello, everyone! We here at the Olive Tree Initiative hope that your week has been off to a great and productive start.

This week, in addition to our usual educational meeting, we are going to be hosting a film screening in 103 GPB (Genetics and Plant Biology) from 6-8PM on Wednesday, October 29. The film, The Time That Remains, is a semi-biographical drama directed by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, and follows the creation of the Israeli state from 1948 onwards. It is the first event in our upcoming series "Israeli and Palestinian Voices: Reflections of Conflict in Pop Culture, Art, and Media."

At this week’s meeting, members will be discussing the history, symbolism, and significance behind the act of Palestinian stone throwing. Please join us for what is sure to be an interesting and educational experience. For those of you who will be attending for the first time, the meeting will be held in 254 Barrows Hall at 8PM, which is a change from the previous time of 7:30PM. We hope that this time change better accommodates everyone’s busy schedules.

We look forward to seeing you!

Best wishes,
Nisa Dang
Director of Public Relations and Media Outreach

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Tonight's Meeting: Dror Stein

Hello, everyone! We here at the Olive Tree Initiative hope that your week has gone well so far, whether you were dealing with midterms or just getting back into the swing of things.

Tonight, we have a special treat. Please join us in welcoming Berkeley Hillel's Israel Fellow, Dror Stein, who will be speaking on her experiences as a female IDF officer. Stein grew up in Eilat in Southern Israel, and during her time with the Israel Defense Force, lived in Jerusalem, Gedera, and Be'er Sheva. In order to make effective use of this space, we ask those who plan on joining us to bring questions, curiosity, and an open mind.

We are also hosting a film screening for next Wednesday, so mark your calendars! The event will take place from 6 to 8 PM, and the location and film will be announced soon, so please be on the lookout for that.

As always, we hope that you have a wonderful rest of the week, and that you join us for tonight's meeting.

Best wishes,
Nisa Dang
Director of Public Relations and Media Outreach

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Belated 'Welcome Back' from our chapter!

Hello, hello, and welcome back from a long and eventful summer!

We here at the Initiative have been especially busy. Over the summer, we had members traveling all over, with some participating in the abridged OTI 7 trip, and some working and studying in the region, so we thought that for the first couple of meetings, we would host a Meet the Olives event and a Welcome Back Olives event. The first was aimed at giving prospective members a casual environment in which they could meet with current chapter members, to ask about their experiences and to get to know them. The second was an event at which members who traveled to DC/NYC and to the region were able to share their experiences. Professor Peter Bartu and OTI alumna Shannon Thomas attended and spoke a bit about their involvement in the chapter.

With those initial events geared at providing a welcoming introduction to this year of education, discussion, and collaboration, we were able to transition into a meeting and discussion on the historical overview of the conflict, with several members presenting and contributing.

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Tonight's Meeting: Overview of Historical Political Thought

Hello and welcome back from what we hope was a restful and/or exciting break, olives and supporters!

Our meeting tonight will be an interesting one. Instead of delving into the history of the conflict itself, as has been done in the past, we will be learning about and discussing some key figures in political thought. We are looking forward to an educational and engaging session, so please join us! Members new and old are invited to partake in our discussions and meetings.

Additionally, we are encouraging any and all students of the UC system to apply to the Middle East trip, especially Cal students. This truly is an amazing and exciting opportunity, and past trip participants are more than willing to share their experiences with anyone interested. The trip consists of a three week educational expedition to Washington D.C., New York, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, and the student envoy meets with top politicians and diplomats, as well as think tanks, NGOs, and other organizations. To find out more information, please come to tonight's meeting. The application will be discussed in detail and questions are welcomed. And if you aren't interested in applying, then please spread the word and encourage your friends and colleagues to apply!

Best wishes,
Nisa Dang
Director of Public Relations and Media Outreach

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Tonight's Meeting: Dr. Sharon Aaronson-Lehavi

Hello and welcome, olives and supporters!

We here at the Olive Tree Initiative at Cal do hope that your week is going wonderfully, and that you are enjoying this beautiful weather.

At tonight's meeting, we will be hosting Dr. Sharon Aaronson-Lehavi, who has been invited to speak about feminist Israeli theater and performance. Please come out for what is guaranteed to be an interesting presentation and discussion, we'd love to have you!

Additionally, trip applications have been out for quite a while now, and it's not too difficult to have your materials in by the early deadline, which is this coming Monday, March 17th. For more information on the application, click here. Also come to the meeting tonight for additional details. Olives who went on the trip last summer are more than willing to share their experiences with anyone interested in applying. We encourage you to do so, as it is bound to be an unforgettable journey.

Best wishes,
Nisa Dang
Director of Public Relations and Media Outreach

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Tonight's Meeting: Special Guest Dr. Daniel Zoughbie

Hello, Olives and supporters!

We here at OTI at Cal have a special treat for you at tonight's meeting: Professor Daniel Zoughbie, who is known for his involvement in issues of international health, United States foreign policy, Middle Eastern politics, and international relations, will be joining us to speak about his work with his organization, Microclinic International. If you are interested in Palestinian and Jordanian health issues, this is the perfect educational session for you, as Dr. Zoughbie's work with Microclinic International involves the establishment of Palestinian and Jordanian health clinics. Please join us for this fruitful discussion and wonderful learning opportunity.

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Tonight's Meeting: On Gaza

Hello, Olives and supporters!

We here at the Olive Tree Initiative at Cal hope that you are having a wonderful week so far. And if not, well, the weekend is only a couple hours away.

On the agenda for tonight's meeting is an education session on Gaza, which will be led by one of our olives, Sydney. If you have any questions on this particular issue or have an interest in it, we encourage you to come and join us in 209 Dwinelle for the educational presentation, and the discussion afterwards.

Also to be discussed are the trip applications, which were recently released and can be found on the home page. Our president, Shannon, will be going over the different parts of the application and answering any questions about it or the trip in general. There really is no better time to get involved in the Olive Tree Initiative, especially if you have an interest in applying for the trip.

In other news, the Olive Tree Initiative is embarking on one of our educational/leadership retreats this weekend, so it will be a super fun and educational experience for those of us who are going. We rarely are able to convene as a group, so this is a special treat for members, new and old, who wish to meet new members or reconnect with old friends. Sadly, the deadline for signing up has passed, but we hope you will consider joining us at a later retreat.

We hope to see you in 209 Dwinelle tonight, and as always, we welcome new members to join us.

Best,
Nisa Dang
Director of Public Relations and Media Outreach

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