Engaging Young Adults Through Israel Experiences

Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver is committed to supporting a broad range of social, cultural, educational and philanthropic initiatives to engage young adults and nurture their interest in and commitment to Jewish communal life. Currently, we provide funding to send more than 200 young adults on high school trips and short and long term programs in Israel every year, including March of the Living, Birthright Israel and Masa. Gifts to the Federation Annual Campaign ensure young people in our community have opportunities to build connections with Israel and to get involved in our community when they return.

Israel experiences may last a few weeks, but the impact lasts for a lifetime. Returning participants have told us that visiting Israel was a life-changing experience. For many, Israel experiences are the catalyst for a renewed sense of Jewish identity and strengthen their enthusiasm for getting involved in our Jewish community.

Jewish Federation Provides Essential Support

In addition to offsetting the cost of many of these experiences, Jewish Federation offers scholarships, funded in part by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation. Jewish Federation also provides departmental support and resources from our Israel and Overseas Affairs department. The department leads several information sessions throughout the year, provides centralized communication from the program organizational providers, and acts as a one-stop-shop for information and follow-up programming. If you want to help give a young adult a life-changing Israel experience, make your Annual Campaign gift today.

Israel Experience Follow-Up Programming

When young adults return home, the journey is far from over. Jewish Federation helps them engage Jewishly with follow-up programming that channels their enthusiasm into community-building programs and initiatives. Our follow-up programming ensures returning participants are connected to local organizations and initiatives so they can share their experience and give back. Nathan Brown, coordinator, Israel and Overseas Affairs, facilitates follow-up programming and connects one-on-one with program participants. Interested in getting involved? Contact him at nbrown@jewishvancouver.com.

Spotlight on March of the Living and Birthright Israel

March of the Living and Birthright Israel experiences are supported through the Federation Annual Campaign. The application deadline for March of the Living spring 2020 trips is November 1st. The deadline to apply for Birthright Israel winter trips is also in early November. For more information contact Dafna Silberstein, manager, Israel and Overseas Affairs, at dsilberstein@jewishvancouver.com.

  • March of the Living is a two-week trip to Poland and Israel to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust, and build participants’ connections to Israel. The experience culminates in a three-kilometer march – the March of the Living – from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). This is followed by a week-long experience in Israel, contrasting the anguish of our past with the hope of our future.  In 2018, a record of 23 local high-school students participated.
  • Birthright Israel is the gift of an educational, seven to 10-day peer group trip to Israel for young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 32, offered at no cost to the participant. Young adults make new friends, build connections to Israel, and deepen their engagement with the Jewish community.

Find out more about Israel experiences supported by Jewish Federation and gifts to the Federation Annual Campaign.