Shabbat Message for July 24th

July 24, 2015 | Roz Blanck

We had the pleasure of hearing from our very own Naomi Rockowitz, Director of Missions from JFMD’s Jerusalem office, who is in town this week after bringing the second session group of Israeli Campers to Tamarack. She met with previous Mosaic Mission participants to give an update on the status of things in Israel. Additionally, she talked about four of Federation’s focuses in Israel at this time:

  1. Partnership2Gether: Since 1994, three Michigan communities, Metropolitan Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, have partnered with three municipalities in Israel, Migdal HaEmek, Nazareth Illit and the Jezreel Valley, located in a region referred to as the Central Galilee. Both of the partner communities are strengthened by people-to-people relationships through missions to Israel, the Israeli Camper Program, Community Birthright, and more.
  2. The English Program: Education, specifically English education, is a challenge especially in the periphery of Israel. English is a tool for life, and without it, Israelis have a harder time achieving a prestigious role in the army, getting into college, and succeeding as professionals. Israel has extended the school year for elementary aged students through July, and in partnership with other organizations is bringing trained, native English speaking teachers to provide English immersion and instruction along with Israeli teachers in the classroom setting. Federation helps to fund these programs in our Partnership Region.
  3. Re:Lod: A newer program that Federation supports in Lod, Israel. This student/post student community is working to revitalize a once vibrant city by bringing in young students and professionals and offering affordable housing with an expectation of community service in return. There are numerous similarities between Lod and Detroit, and these residents are doing incredible work to turn the city around.
  4. Youth Futures: A partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), this program provides community-based mentoring for at-risk pre-teens and adolescents in our Partnership Region. Trained mentors work as trusted guides to help students improve school performance, strengthen social integration, and inspire engagement with the community. The Mentors also connect youth, families, and communities with the services and local resources to help them overcome barriers to success.
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