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Jerusalem Campus
3 Aravnah HaYevusi
Hebron Road, 9411602
P.O. Box 1276, Mt. Zion
9101202 Jerusalem, Israel
voice: 972-2-671-8628
fax: 972-2-673-2717

North American Office
1185 Wesley Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385
toll free: 1-800-891-9408
voice: 937-933-9099
fax: 937-933-9099


| Is it Safe to Study in Israel?

We are very aware that news coverage about the Middle East frequently portrays Israel as a dangerous place to live or visit. Prominent coverage is often given to the U.S. State Department's travel advisories and warnings for the region, and people are generally discouraged from coming here. With the tensions between political and national groups and the random, but often predictable violent actions of those who seek to promote their causes it can appear that the entire country is in a state of siege, panic and completely militarized. The news media makes a living selling one crisis after another and by focusing on tragic events, thereby fueling the fears of people around the globe. Certainly when bombings and terrorist acts do occur, as they have at differing levels for the past five decades and we are witness to the aftermath of the more dramatic ones, tourism fades.

Yet, such news coverage does not match the scenes that we at JUC daily witness. Often media coverage of events leaves people with the impression that the country is in turmoil. While the television at times has had pictures of soldiers and rock-throwing demonstrators facing each other (lending the impression of country-wide violence), or crowds lining up for gas masks (which actually have been routinely and annually distributed since 1991) or of tank firings or gun battles at flash points, the streets and neighborhoods in our part of Jerusalem are normally quite tranquil. To better understand the true nature of our situation here, please consider some of the following facts:
| Ten Important Points to Remember

The majority of the following points apply to institutional activities. So long as students are vigilant and follow our guidelines, we remain confident of their security.

However, students who decide on their own to engage in imprudent activities or to frequent locations that we have corporately advised against, run increased risk during their time in the region.

| Although Israel is a small country, events here are very localized. Disruption in one part of the country is not necessarily apparent in another part.
| The areas that are most prone to violence are precisely the areas that are least frequently or never visited by our students. Trouble, when it occurs, usually happens in the towns and villages of the West Bank (including some points in East Jerusalem) or in the Gaza Strip or at checkpoints to those places. With very few exceptions, our programs run almost entirely outside of these areas.
| We actively pay attention to the political situation. Should the occasion arise, we will rearrange field studies so as to avoid troublesome areas, while still offering top-quality, on-site programs for our students. There are more places of significance to visit and study in Israel than anywhere in the world.
|   It is true that the U.S. Embassy or U.S. State Department frequently issues advisories (for U.S. citizens) to avoid the public places and bus stops. However, these advisories are often issued for legal (liability) reasons as much as, if not more than, for safety reasons. The Embassy takes a most cautious stance in order to protect itself from legal action, so that its advisories frequently have little bearing on the true safety of travelers. Still their advice concerning conduct is generally applicable and we utilize their advice in all of our institutional activities.
|   We at Jerusalem University College have a 56 year history here in Israel, and we know the importance of keeping a close eye on developing events. We work hard to judge situations well and exercise good caution on our students' behalf. Fortunately, our track record is excellent over all those years.
| We continue to apply security precautions to our shorter term programs and semester abroad, which among many other things, consist of unpublished itineraries in private group field trips to biblical sites in remote or desolate areas of Israel on privately owned and operated busses with experienced leadership and with regular contact with administrative and security officials to determine the safety of travel routes.
| Our group leaders, when in the field, carry cell phones. They can be in immediate contact if necessary. Field trip itineraries are sometimes adjusted or travel routes changed to avoid certain locations depending on current events or our communication with government agencies. We run full programs every year, with groups visiting most parts of the country in safety.
| JUC’s campus is fenced and gated with a safe room in the rare event of an air raid siren. Also, the President and family live on campus and are in constant contact and conversation with students.
| From the time our students arrive in Jerusalem, we orient them to the special distinctives of this country and instruct them in being able to successfully negotiate around potential trouble situations (both cultural and political). We stress cultural sensitivity, and point out areas that students should avoid, explaining our rationale for such advice. In such ways, we help our students avoid potential trouble from the start.
|   Jerusalem University College is kept informed of developments and precautions to take on a routine basis from our contacts at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and contacts in various Israeli Ministries.
| Related Information

» Students Regarding Safety:  Student testimonials about security.

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