Related Blog Posts on Israel Programs, teens, Experiencing Israel, URJ Heller High, Israel, Israel Travel, and Youth Engagement

Israel at 75: Forging the Path Together

Rabbi Josh Weinberg
April 21, 2023
In November 2006, I set out with a pack on my back to walk the Land. I knew that before I enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, I wanted a more intimate relationship with the country that I had made my home.

Celebrating the Trailblazing Mothers of Zionism

Crystal Hill
Ellie Rudee
April 13, 2023
While many are acquainted with the "fathers" of modern Zionism (Theodore Herzl, Leon Pinsker, David Ben Gurion, and others) early women Zionists have been largely overlooked. Their contributions to Zionism and Jewish kibbutzim were vital to establishing the state of Israel. It's time that their work was celebrated and recognized.

Seeking Jewish Values Amidst Broken Glass

Kara A. Wilson
January 18, 2023
Nearly two months ago, our Just Zionism group landed in Israel as the election to cement a far-right government in the Knesset was taking effect. When we landed, I had a surface-level understanding of Israeli politics but was about to get a crash course on the election's implications for the activists who were heartbroken by the results.

Israel is Messy and I Love It

Joshua Maxey
December 20, 2022
On November 2, 2022, I landed at Ben Gurion Airport for the first time. Filled with many emotions, this being my first trip to Israel, I decided to keep an open mind as I joined twelve young adult leaders on a journey to learn more about Israel, Zionism, and why Jews in the Diaspora, especially in the United States, should be engaged.

Aliyah to Israel is a Reform Value, Too!

Josh Scharff
October 18, 2022
There are a few days in my life that stand out. There are the big milestones: my first days of school, going to camp for the first time, and my first homerun. Another one of those dates that stands out is December 28th, 2015. That was the day that I made aliyah and became an Israeli citizen.

Keeping Family Close, Regardless of Distance

Rabbi Stacey Blank
September 21, 2022
As I boarded the plane to Israel in the summer of 2002 for my first year of rabbinical school at HUC in Jerusalem, my mother said, "Please, just don't meet an Israeli." As soon as the plane touched down at Ben Gurion airport, I knew that I was home. A few months later, I met that Israeli. From our first conversation, he understood that I was studying to be a rabbi, and I understood that he wanted to live only in Israel.

Staying Connected After the B’nei Mitzvah: a Teen’s Perspective

Celia Weingart
August 8, 2022
A common sentiment among Jewish-affiliated teens seems to be, after your b'nei mitzvah, religious school is over, right? Sure, you might come back for confirmation in a few years, but there's no real reason to stay involved. You're Jewish. You know that, your family knows that, and your friends know that. Staying involved is kind of a waste of time. Right? Actually, no. Even if you've had your b'nei mitzvah, there are benefits to staying involved with your Hebrew School and your religious education.