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Changes to the Teen Leadership Program

By Hadas Shaprut

Manhigut – or the Teen Leadership Program – is a five-year leadership/educational program for individuals in grades 8-12 from the Central Galilee region (Migdal HaEmek, Nof Hagalil and the Jezreel Valley Regional Council).

The program operates as part of the Central Galilee-Michigan partnership that creates meaningful connections and opportunities for involvement through various joint projects, pooling resources, and strengthening the partner communities in the Central Galilee and the Jewish community in Michigan.

As part of the program, the groups meet once every two weeks and undergo value-based activities lead by counselors. The candidates who are accepted choose to keep coming year after year.

The program includes, among other things:

  • The development of social leadership identity alongside individual and group development processes.
  • Development of pluralistic thinking, and acquaintance and connection with Diaspora Jewry.
  • Opening many doors further down the road in partnership  with the Jewish Agency for a variety of missions to the Diaspora communities at different stages in their lives.
  • Peak days, the hackathon, a weekend seminar, meetings with organizations, and external lecturers.

The Israeli Camper Program (ICP) has been operating in the Central Galilee region for 21 years (with a two-year break following the Corona crisis) and is intended for individuals in grades 7-8 from the partnership area. The screening for the 2022 ICP delegation took place at the end of December(delete the comma)2021 and we are pleased to announce that we have an incredible group of students.

Youths who participate in this program strengthen Jewish ties amongst themselves, American campers, their host families, and the greater Jewish community.

Participants undergo comprehensive preparation sessions that deal with Jewish identity, Jewish tradition, acquaintance with the Jewish community in North America, currents in Judaism in Israel and the Diaspora, cultural differences, representation of Israel, and more.

Participants selected for ICP meet criteria such associal involvement, positive leadership, acceptable level of English, independence, resilience,  maturity, representativeness, and connection to Jewish tradition.

Before the corona crisis, participants of ICP were accepted into the program, participated in ICP-specific preparation sessions, and then traveled to Michigan where they attended Tamarack Camps. After their summer at camp, they would return to Israel to participate in the leadership program.

This year, for the first time ever, the members of the ICP delegation will now start their time with the leadership program before attending camp. This change will better prepare the campers and introduce them to the leadership program prior to their experience at Tamarack. We know that this move will have many benefits, and we cannot wait to give these individuals the experience of a lifetime!

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