CONNECTING YOUNG AMERICAN JEWS WITH ISRAEL
The Federation believes that helping young adults experience the magic of Israel forms a powerful bond with our homeland that lasts a lifetime. We put that belief into action by creating immersive Israel experiences. So far this summer, we’ve facilitated 10-day Birthright Israel LA Way trips where young Jewish Angelenos witness firsthand the ways our Federation, alongside our partners, are improving Israeli society. Participants toured the Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel’s north where thousands of teens from challenging backgrounds have received tools and training that set them up for future success. They also visited our partner Latet, one of Israel’s two national food banks, where they made food packages for the nutritionally-insecure and housebound Holocaust survivors.
Our collaboration with Birthright Israel Onward allowed us to bring nearly 40 college students to Israel for summer-long internships, which provide these industrious students with professional experience in a variety of sectors from technology to nonprofit. The seeds of lifelong devotion to Israel we plant on these trips will grow into strong trees of impact in the years and decades to come.ty.
The Birthright experience of a lifetime is just a click away at NuRoots.org/laway.
EDUCATING LOS ANGELES EDUCATORS ABOUT ISRAEL
One of our Federation’s most effective defenses against antisemitism and anti-Zionism is to combat misinformation about Israel in our schools. Each summer, we host educators from all over Southern California for an illuminating trip to Israel through our Holy Land Democracy Project (HLDP). This summer’s trip provided an unvarnished look into the complicated issues of the region. Participants met with senior-level policy makers and community leaders from across the political spectrum to discuss important issues, all while soaking in the many centuries worth of history the area offers. Those who joined us emerged from the experience with a deeper understanding of Israel’s complexity and the historical, geographic, and political influences that shape the country. Following each trip, HLDP alumni make a tangible impact on their local school communities. One example of that powerful impact came in January when the LAUSD Board of Education approved a resolution that put dates on the academic calendar to remember and honor those lost in the Holocaust. The resolution was sponsored by Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson, who attended our HLDP trip in the summer of 2022.
To learn more about this powerful work, visit JewishLA.org/HLDP.
ENSURING A BETTER FUTURE FOR ISRAELI YOUTH
Our Federation believes educational opportunities should be available to all children, no matter what their background. The Israel Center for Educational Innovation (ICEI) is a treasured partner focused on narrowing socioeconomic gaps in Israel by sharpening the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills of children from disadvantaged areas. ICEI recently held an annual young writer’s competition in which thousands of children submit stories for review by a panel of professional readers. We presented awards for the 4th grade winners of the competition. Also, in celebration of the competition’s 10th year, we organized a panel of past winners who spoke about the ways the competition propelled them to future academic achievement. Supporting ICEI is one way we put into action the value that education should be accessible to all Israelis.
Interested in learning more about the many ways we support Israel? Visit JewishLA.org/SupportIsrael.
CULTIVATING FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ISRAELI THOUGHT LEADERS
Our Federation is committed to sparking innovation in those who will shape the future. We’re proud to partner with Unistream, an Israeli program our Federation works closely with that teaches nearly 4,000 underserved teens entrepreneurship skills that change the trajectory of their lives. Recently, upwards of 100 teams of teenagers from around the country participated in the semifinals of the Ted and Hedy Ordenz”l and Family Entrepreneur of the Year competition at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. Here, enterprising teenagers pitched their ventures to hundreds of Israeli business and social leaders with the power and know-how to take their ideas to the next level. This competition, and more broadly our partnership with Unistream, shows our commitment to cultivating the next generation of Israeli trailblazers.
Check out some of the projects these daring entrepreneurs are working on by visiting JewishLA.org/Unistream.