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Israel's youth village system is a culturally distinct approach to providing healthy learning environments for Israeli youth at risk and new immigrants between the ages of 12-18.
Israeli teens might choose to live and study in these agricultural communities for a variety of reasons: their family might be impoverished and unable to adequately care for them, they might have immigrated to Israel alone, they might have had a difficult time with social integration at their former schools, or they might simply be interested in the community values that the youth village embodies. Whatever the reason, the network of educators, mentors, and adoptive families in the village provides an environment for these teens to grow into thriving and compassionate adults.
Though there are countless benefits for the teens that grow up in this setting, one drawback is that they have less access to native English speakers than they would have if they lived in urban Israeli environments. This is the first time that an organized group of English-speaking Jews have been brought in to address this issue. We are looking for adventurous and socially conscious Jews from the Anglosphere who are not only interested in teaching English, but in leading informal education activities, and in serving as close mentors and role models for their students.
The youth village is a product of the Jewish commitment to tikkun olam, and embodies the cliché but truthful maxim that "it takes a village to raise a child". The 10 months of the program will be highly challenging, but also profound. Those who work in a youth village tend to reflect on it as a transformative life experience.
A wide range of skills are useful in a youth village setting, so those with one or more of the following interests or attributes are encouraged to apply:
• Interest in social work, counseling or mentoring teens
• Background in constructive recreational activities like music, sports, dance, art, theatre, cooking, photography, etc.
• Interest in gardening, agriculture and/or animals
• Hebrew ability, as some students in the village have limited English
• European language ability, particularly French and Russian, for new immigrant students