Brooklyn College student, Rachel Khasky, teaches English to Israeli schoolchildren while on the Mission's Tzedek track.
Applications are NOW CLOSED for Winter Israel Experiences 2006-2007.
Hillel is delighted to offer its premier Winter Israel Experiences this December and January (in previous years these trips were known as Israel Missions). This season Hillel is sending three exciting tracks: Jewish Pluralism and Peoplehood, Green: Israel and Global Environmentalism and Leading Up North - Tzedek (Social Justice). Each track will last approximately 10 days and cost $180 per student. While requirements for each track vary, all participants must have had prior Israel experience.
Jewish Pluralism and Peoplehood
The global Jewish community is a complex mosaic of Jews with varied religious, cultural, ethnic, and national identities. This global Jewish community faces unparalleled challenges that will define the future of the Jewish people in the next century, and beyond. This track will provide Jewish student leaders with the opportunity to learn about and experience the rich diversity which exists within the Jewish people and to engage with the accompanying challenges. The trip will offer encounters with different Jewish communities in Israel, with Jewish texts, and with Jewish challenges. Participants will study Torah through a plurality of different voices at a variety of institutions, will delve into the complex realities of Israeli pluralism, and will engage in active dialogue with Jews of different backgrounds, nationalities and religious identities. As a result students will reach a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of their individual Jewish identities and the composition of the Jewish people as whole. They will investigate, inquire, and struggle with the challenges and opportunities that come with building a powerfully diverse and pluralistic Jewish community at the local and global level. The group will include students from Israel and other Jewish communities worldwide.
Criteria: Open-minded, self-reflective students with an interest in meeting Jews of different backgrounds. Leadership experience in Jewish life on campus is preferable. We are especially interested in creating a group composed of participants of all backgrounds and levels of religious commitment. All students must have had prior Israel experience. This track is not open to freshmen and priority will be given to sophomores and juniors.
Green: Israel and Global Environmentalism
This track will offer students a unique way of seeing Israel by focusing on the challenges of global environmentalism and exploring how they relate to Israel’s growth and development. Students will learn about Israel in its geographical context by exploring the geo-political issues of water and oil in the Middle East, and considering the environmental ramifications of these issues. They will explore how Israel deals with the challenges of sustainable development comparing this with similar attempts in North America. Participants will also learn about the incredible innovations that have been produced by Israelis, from irrigation to solar technology, while trying to reconcile these advancements with the tremendous amount of waste and over-development that have begun to plague Israeli society. Trips to cutting edge environmental organizations, like the Arava Institute, and meetings with political and environmental leaders will provide students with a distinctive view of Israel. Students will be encouraged to think about ways in which their own relationship to Israel is refracted through the lens of this global issue, and about how they can translate this experience into campus activism.
Criteria: All students who have an interest in these issues, especially those with an academic or activist interest in: environmentalism, social justice, public policy, urban planning, international relations and law. Students of all backgrounds and levels of religious commitment. All students must have had prior Israel experience. We intend to offer two tracks: one for graduate students and one for undergraduate students.
Leading Up North – Tzedek Mission (Social Justice) –
In response to the conflict that has traumatized Israel’s north this past summer, the Center for Leadership Initiatives is launching Leading Up North. This ten-day winter break trip will place 500 young Jewish leaders as volunteers in cities, towns, and national parks to repair damage and to provide emotional support to the residents of the North. As one of the trip organizers, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life will be organizing 160 college students to participate in this trip. The ten-day trips will involve repair of cities and towns, bomb shelters, and forests which have been devastated by the violence. A specially tailored educational curriculum will be offered by scholars-in-residence with expertise in service learning. Funding for Leading Up North is being provided by philanthropist Lynn Schusterman.
Criteria: Committed leaders on campus who are dedicated to community service and activism. All students must have had prior Israel experience. Participants will be expected to serve as ambassadors for service and for Israel by speaking and or writing about their experiences in either their home communities or college campuses.
*Please note that the Leading Up North trip is committed to direct service work in various communities in the north of Israel. Opportunities for free exploration and touring in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or other major Israeli cities are not scheduled components of this trip. Students are encouraged to pursue additional travel in Israel at the conclusion of Leading Up North.
*Alternatively, students affiliated with ICC member organizations may be eligible to participate in ICC-CLI’s Leading Up North track as a representative of their organization. More information and a full listing of ICC member organizations is available online.
During the trips the tracks will gather in Northern Israel to celebrate Shabbat as part of a larger Jewish student community. Students will celebrate Shabbat together in a pluralistic, welcoming and joyful environment and will have the chance to meet each other, relax and learn together. Service Day Festival:
All participants regardless of track will gather in a town in Northern Israel for a day of service and carnival for the residents of the town. The day will be capped off with a concert by a leading Israeli band. Complete Your Application
Frequently Asked Questions Waiver and Behavioral Guidelines
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If you have further questions please contact us at WinterIsrael@hillel.org.