Samaria residents are learning how to present the needs and views of their communities in a way that the American public can hear it best. The Shomron (Samaria) Liaison Office is running an intensive training program for community activists, according to Executive Director David Ha'Ivri, who said the 13-week course, is being taught in English by a Dale Carnegie trainer.
Sixteen towns across Samaria are participating in the program, each of which sent two delegates to be trained. Part of the cost, said Ha'Ivri, is being picked up by an anonymous donor "who understands the importance of our improving our PR and presentation."
Ron Bowman, who runs the Dale Carnegie program in Israel, "has been a Carnegie trainer for 35 years," Ha'Ivri added. "He doesn't speak a word of Hebrew. They have trainers in Hebrew, but we opted for the expert and the added gain of helping our people become comfortable speaking in English."
Since getting one's message across to the American people is becoming increasingly important, Ha'Ivri said it is likely his office will run the program again, although probably not in the coming year. The Shomron Liaison Office was set up a year ago by Shomron Regional Council director Gershon Mesika specifically to improve the image of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, he said.
"We are more than often up against outside forces and foreign media who take full advantage of our lacking in public relations skills," he noted. "It is imperative that we learn to present our cause with clarity and conviction. When we are done with this type of training we will take the same people and work with them on other aspects -- fundraising, speaking in front of TV cameras, background on issues of debate, history, land rights, and other matters," he said.