(New York, NY) – This week, 500 exceptional young adults will participate in Building Future Leadership
, Masa Israel Journey’s intensive, weeklong leadership program in Israel. Chosen from nearly 10,000 individuals from all over the world who are studying, interning, and volunteering in Israel, Building Future Leadership prepares young adults to fill leadership positions when they return to their campuses and communities.
With young adults’ increased interest in Jewish communal work following their time in Israel, Masa Israel, a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, is committed to helping its alumni stay involved. Jewish campus and communal organizations are now actively seeking Masa Israel alumni to take leadership positions upon their return home. Organizations involved in the Building Future Leadership program include the Jewish Federations of North America, the Israel on Campus Coalition, Hillel, PresenTense, and AVI CHAI.
“Masa Israel’s Building Future Leadership is one of the important ways that we are preparing young Jewish adults for future leadership opportunities following their immersive Israel experiences,” said Masa Israel’s North American Director, Avi Rubel. “I believe that the growing pool of Masa Israel alumni will play a decisive role in connecting their peers to Israel and in strengthening their home Jewish communities.”
Building Future Leadership’s weeklong events include discussions about critical issues facing the Jewish people, leadership skill development sessions focused on entrepreneurship, public speaking, and networking, trips to the Knesset and Yad Vashem, and meetings with social activists and community leaders. Participants can choose to focus on Israel education, Israel advocacy, social justice and tikkun olam, or Jewish peoplehood.
In the workshop, “From Vision to Reality,” participants will also be able to outline a project they hope to pursue in their home communities.
Last year, Jordana Gilman, a Nativ gap year participant, created a project focused on bringing interfaith programming to campus and connected with Cornell’s Hillel rabbi so that he would anticipate her arrival. Now as chair of interfaith programming and Jewish education and culture at Hillel, Gilman is planning a civil rights seder.
“It was truly a growing experience for everyone, and it personally made me very excited for the next year,” said Gilman. “I came out of the conference with some solid, realistic, ready-for-action program plans and college-level leadership techniques.”
The Building Future Leadership program will take place in Jerusalem from March 6 – 11, 2011. A follow-up meeting will take place on May 23, 2011.