Did you have a transformative experience on a recent trip to Israel – on a summer trip, on a high school semester abroad program, or during trips with your family, synagogue, or local community? If you haven’t yet been there, are you interested in learning more about Israel?
Would you like a program to help you make meaning of your experiences in Israel and learn more about social justice issues and culture in Israel today?
Are you interested in connecting with teens from across North America and Israel with diverse passions and interests?
Does the idea of organizing for positive change in Israel and at home inspire you?
If any of these questions are true for you, APPLY to the Fall 2024 Cohort of the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive!
What is the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive?
The URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive is a program for North American teens to learn about the society and culture of Israel and learn how to organize around Israel within their communities.
The program will begin with an opening seminar at a URJ camp a weekend in October 2024. There, students will learn about different social justice issues that Israel is wrestling with today; explore different tools for community organizing; learn how to facilitate discussions about Israel with their peers; meet with community organizers organizing around Israel in diverse and creative ways; celebrate Shabbat and be in the company of teens from all over the US; and more.
After the opening seminar – and under the guidance of a supportive mentor — teens will return home and spearhead an organizing project in their local communities. In partnership with their peers, teens will explore what they are passionate about in Israel, decide how they want to organize their communities, and then put their ideas into action!
Teens in the Teen Israel Organizing Immersive will finish this program empowered and prepared to lead their peers on the issues they care most deeply about. They will have developed a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Israel; they will be able to lead community actions, events, discussions, and more within their community; and they will have the tools they need to work for social change in Israel, at home, and elsewhere.
What will you do as a participant?
Participants in the Teen Israel Organizing Immersive will…
Attend the opening seminar at a URJ camp a weekend in October 2024
Meet with a mentor four times (approximately once a month) to help them plan and lead their organizing project
Attend a few webinars in the Fall and Winter of 2024
Create and implement an organizing project in collaboration with their peers
Timeline for the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive
|Opening Seminar at URJ Camp Coleman
|Participants will plan their community organizing projects
|Participants will execute their community organizing project and will reflect with their mentors on the successes and challenges of their projects.
Participants will meet for an online symposium and a closing program tekes (ceremony)
What might an organizing project look like?
Once they return home from the opening seminar in October at a URJ camp, and building on what they learned from their experience in Israel, Teen Israel Organizing Participants will plan an organizing project based on the issues in Israel they and their peers are most passionate about and based on what needs they see within their communities.
So that they feel supported throughout the entire process, participants in the Teen Israel Organizing Immersive will work with a dedicated and attentive mentor to help them plan and implement their organizing projects.
Our understanding of organizing is intentionally broad and we're hoping to bring in a diverse group of participants with a variety of interests and skillsets. Teen Israel Organizing participants can be activists, artists, athletes, and more. They can be studious, charismatic, or reserved. They can have different political perspectives and different levels of exposure to Israel. In other words, all are welcome to apply!
Examples of organizing projects might include (but are not limited to): starting a club or running a program; curating an art exhibit or musical performance; creating a zine, short video or podcast; bringing friends to your house for a Shabbat or holiday experience of your own design; planning a local march or another community action; conducting a series of 1:1 meetings or organizing a house meeting; running a campaign about something happening in Israel that you are passionate about; holding a fundraiser for an Israel-based organization you believe in; bringing teens in North America and in Israel together to learn and explore issues they have in common; and more.
A Note on Inclusion and Access
We welcome teens of all social identities and from all socioeconomic classes to apply to this program As such, this program is free for teens and their families.
Also, although the Teen Israel Organizing Immersive is organized through the Reform Movement, we hope to draw students who come from many different denominations to create a vibrant and pluralistic Jewish community. All are welcome to apply!
As a part of the Teen Israel Organizing Immersive, teens will receive…
A free trip to a URJ camp in October for the opening seminar.
mentoring and support to successfully complete the organizing project
exposure to community organizers and thought leaders on Israel.
$200 with which to implement their organizing projects
We are looking for teens…
who have been to Israel recently or who are interested in learning about Israel
who are able to attend the opening seminar at a URJ camp in October 2024
with various political perspectives and with various levels of exposure to Israel
who are open to exploring people and ideas they haven't yet encountered.
who are 14-18 years old.
Applications will open in the coming weeks. Please fill out the interest form and we will contact you when they are available.
- Apply to the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive.
- For more information about the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive, complete the interest form.
- Refer a teen for the URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive.
The URJ Teen Israel Organizing Immersive is a joint venture between the Union for Reform Judaism and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.