Entity: Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF)
Project Type: Core
Duration of Support: 2 years (2010, 2012)
The CRIF project is a training program for journalists, aimed at fostering knowledge and acquaint them with reality on the ground and the media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The specially designed program involves 66 students of journalism from the best schools in France, who participate in a yearlong program and in a visit to Israel.
Media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is often biased, presenting a partial image that suits a specific agenda on either side of the conflict. CRIF's program aims to foster the knowledge of journalists and to acquaint them with the facts and the ethical concerns that arise due to the agendas involved.
The program involves 66 students of journalism from the best schools in France, who participate in conferences and visit the region. Conferences on the historical framework of the Middle East are given at a school in Lille, by journalist Michel Derczansky, History Professor Georges Bensoussan, Gerard Chaliand, an author and specialist of arms conflicts, and Frederic Encel, middle-east analyst. These conferences are followed by conferences on the media coverage, with representatives of Agence France-Presse (AFP) and meetings with former French correspondents in Israel and in the occupied territories. The students also pay a 10 day visit to Israel, in which they meet with local professionals. Journalists' works, including articles and photographs, are published towards the end of the trip.
CRIF is an umbrella organization of Jewish institutions in France, and is the political representative body and speaker of the French Jewish community. The organization was established during the German occupation of France (WW2) as a network of assistants to threatened and persecuted Jews. CRIF was later recognized by the republic's political authorities, and actively engages with the President, Prime Minister and other members of Government.