Three Ithaca College students who served in the Israeli Defense Force will speak about their experiences at a panel, “36 Months of Gray,” hosted by The Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Textor 101.
The speakers spent three years in mandatory military service in the IDF before beginning their college careers. They will talk about their experiences and have a discussion with attendees.
The event is not political but is meant to give students an idea of what it is like to be a soldier in the chaotic Middle East, Michael Faber, director of Hillel, said.
“There are many people on campus who have no idea what it’s like to be in the military, whether in the U.S. Army or somewhere else in the world,” Faber said.
Hillel hopes to attract a variety of audience members, not just Jewish students. Faber said the soldiers encountered Jews, Christians and Bedouins while in Israel, so diversity is important to the discussion.
Faber said life in the Middle East is not black and white but “many shades of gray.” The soldiers’ experiences changed their lives, worldviews and challenged them with moral quandaries. The speakers will offer attendees greater insight on war, Israel and the Middle East.
“We want to humanize the issues of Israel and take them out of the realm of abstraction,” Faber said.