Source: YU News
Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) announced that its “Counterpoint Israel Program,” a month-long service-learning initiative that aims to empower the next generation of Israeli youth via an action-packed, Jewish values-driven summer camp experience, has been retooled to allow counselors to receive graduate level credits for their participation in the program. This new development makes Yeshiva University the world’s first institution to offer an accredited program for Jewish service-learning.
Now in its sixth year, Counterpoint Israel—supported by the Zusman Family and Repair the World and staffed by 34 outstanding students from the U.S., Canada, South Africa and New Zealand—will double in size with camps operating in Dimona, Arad and Yemin Orde between July 12 and August 18, 2011.
As in past years, the Dimona program, as well as the new program in Arad, will include classes given in English and workshops in arts, fashion, music, dance and sports—all with the goal of improving the students’ English skills while promoting a positive self-image and traditional Jewish values.
However, the Yemin Orde program, will be run as an overnight camp hosted at Yeshiva University’s Israel campus in Bayit Ve’gan and will focus on addressing the specific needs of the Israeli teens residing in the Yemin Orde Youth Village following their firsthand experiences with the devastation caused by the Carmel forest fire in December. The CJF is working in close partnership with the leadership of the Yemin Orde Youth Village to create a unique summer program that will provide the teens with a safe, fun and educational experience that will ease them back into the important business of being kids.
The Counterpoint Israel Program is built of three key elements: Activism, Learning and Interaction.
The activism segment consists of camps run for Israeli teens in development towns.
While the students are involved in running the camps, they are also engaged in workshops and shiurim that relate directly to the work that they are doing. These learning opportunities take a full day form in seminars that are run in the weeks prior to the camp, and in the week following.
The element that rounds off the activism and learning elements of CPI, is the joint work with Israeli college students. While this interaction enhances the actual work that the students are doing together, it completely changes the dynamic of the learning experience. Each of the group comes from a different background, and with a completely different outlook on life, and so each side challenges and completes the other. In turn, the group dynamic that is created has a powerful effect on the activism element, as the work that the students are doing gains a fresh perspective and new meaning to it.