160 Israeli summer camp emissaries to gather in New York for Jewish Agency conference aimed at strengthening diaspora-Israel ties and personal engagement in Jewish life
NEW YORK, August 18 — 160 young Jewish Agency shlichim (emissaries) will participate in a New York seminar aimed at introducing them to American Jewish life and inspiring them to remain engaged and serve as a link to world Jewry upon their return to Israel. The “Bringing It Home” seminar will take place between August 20 and 22 and is being organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel with significant support from UJA-Federation of New York. The seminar curriculum is being provided by The Jewish Agency’s Makom unit.
Every year, The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Summer Shlichim Program sends more than 1,100 young Israelis to more than 200 Jewish summer camps across North America, where they engage in a vast range of educational activities and provide campers and staff with a personal connection to Israel. This year, as shlichim return from summer camps throughout the greater New York area, they will participate in an intensive leadership seminar aimed at presenting the powerful, multi-dimensional experience of thriving American Jewish life, inspiring the young Israelis to remain active and engaged upon their return home to Israel. In the wake of the recent conflict in Israel, this program aims to strengthen the relationship between world Jewry and Israel and serve as an inspiration for unity for Jews worldwide.
The “Bringing it Home” seminar is part of a continuum of seminars aimed at enabling summer camp shlichim to make the most of their experiences abroad and integrate those experiences in their lives back home. With training beginning in Kibbutz Shefayim in March, their education will continue after the August seminar with a follow-up seminar in Israel in November focusing on translating their summer experiences into social activism in Israeli society and greater engagement in global Jewish life.
The New York seminar is taking place thanks to significant support from UJA-Federation of New York, and will be held at the UJA Federation of New York building and other locations throughout New York. “We are proud to support The Jewish Agency’s “Bringing it Home” program, a grantee of the UJA-Federation of New York,” says Daniel Blaser, chair of UJA-Federation’s Global Jewish Peoplehood committee. “The conference adds an important layer of Jewish Peoplehood to the exceptional Summer Shlichut program as it showcases the reciprocal nature of the relationship between Israeli and North American Jewry. We are confident that this program will manifest itself as a powerful tool in infusing the notion of Jewish peoplehood in Israel.”
“The recent events in Israel have, once again, made it clear that Jewish People are intertwined and forever bonded,” says Roni Rubenstein, chair of the Commission on the Jewish People at UJA-Federation of New York. “UJA-Federation of New York operates through the belief that all Jews are responsible for one another, and is highly encouraged by The Jewish Agency’s new Peoplehood-focused program for Summer Shlichim.”
“The Jewish Agency sends over 1,300 young Israelis each summer to bring Israel to summer camps in North America and around the world, and they return deeply engaged with their own Judaism and the place of Israel in their Jewish identity,” says Alan Hoffmann, Director-General of The Jewish Agency for Israel. “This seminar is intended to help these shlichim process their deepened understanding of American Jewry and build a foundation for their relationship to the Jewish people in the years to come.”
“The goal of the Bringing It Home seminar is threefold,” says Eran Berkovich, Director of Short Term Shlichut at The Jewish Agency for Israel. “We aim to enable shlichim to reflect upon their experiences at camp as Israelis in the diaspora, to expose them to the rich diversity of Jewish communities in New York, and to empower them with the knowledge that The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish community of New York, via the UJA Federation of New York, have invested in them and continue to be invested in their future.”