Young adults from Israel and Detroit come together to build knowledge about the case for giving.

December 9, 2015 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Monday marked the conclusion of the local portion of NEXTGen Detroit’s Advance Academy. This experience followed a mid-October mission to Israel, and included 10 amazing young Detroit leaders and Israeli counterparts who are all involved in Federation-funded programs. The Advance Academy is funded by the IOC as a pilot program

While in Israel, the group learned about Federation’s investment in JDC, JAFI, and World ORT, as well as programs which are directly funded by JFMD. In Detroit, the group learned about the evolution of the Detroit Jewish community, from its history in the City of Detroit to the current revitalization taking place and the role of our Federation. During the program, it was clear that our communities in Detroit and Israel face similar challenges surrounding Jewish identity, community and philanthropy. The time in Israel and Detroit were filled with “ah hah” moments that will forever shape the future involvement of the participants.

 Detroiters included co-chairs Ariella Lis Raviv and Jordon Wertheimer, and participants Adam Blanck, Regina Colton and Ryan Landau. Israelis included Amichai Chikli, Doron Herman, Sveta Shalayeva, Israela Tadela and Cheftzi Tirosh.

 At the summation dinner, when asked what inspired them about the experience, a few comments stood out:
Amichai Chikli – NEXTGen Detroit Board Meeting where board members sharing why they are involved and why they give. He was overwhelmed by their optimism for the future and their sense of collective responsibility.
Israela Tadela – several components of the visit which all showed how invested and united everyone is, from young to old and everyone in between. She felt that Detroit is an example that the Ethiopian Israeli community should strive to emulate.
Regina Colton – seeing the Detroit community through the eyes of her new Israeli friends. It gave her a new perspective and appreciation for what we have in Detroit.
Adam Blanck – the ongoing conversations on living Jewishly that happened during unstructured times throughout the week, and the fact that he connected with this group so strongly just because we’re all Jewish. He shared that he feels lucky to live in Jewish Detroit at this time in history.

The goal of the Advance Academy for the Detroit participants is to build knowledge about the case for giving in Detroit, Israel and around the world, to build solicitation skills and to be inspired to fund-raise on behalf of the Jewish Federation. For the Israeli participants, the goal is to educate them about Federation to make them ambassadors for our Detroit Jewish community, to provide leadership development, to increase their motivation, and to give back to their own communities. All of this was done through the lens of people-to-people relationship building.

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