Source: Israel Connect
Israel Connect is a program of the Melitz organization dedicated to developing and facilitating a two-way, long-term and interpersonal connection between Jewish youth from around the world and their peers in Israel in order to enhance their Jewish identity and commitment to the Jewish people. The project twins young Jews from frameworks such as schools, university campuses and the IDF using the internet, video conferencing and face to face encounters.
How does the program work?
The professional team at Melitz in Jerusalem works with Israeli and Diaspora schools and university campuses to create twinning relationships with the best possible chance of success. After observing the social and cultural characteristics of the schools to determine the most suitable matches, the project then embarks on a strategy which builds the relationship into a set of highly meaningful experiences.
Using a specially designed web-based curriculum the students explore Jewish identity, roots and community. Through the sharing of ideas, stories, traditions and beliefs, the students gain great understanding into the different models of identity expression that occur in their own community and that of the “other”.
Encounters also take place through video conferencing carefully structured by the Israel Connect staff in close coordination with both groups. In this part of the program, the students communicate with each other, either as individuals or as a part of a group, using new technology.
Israel Connect can also enhance the school trip to Israel. Israel Connect will coordinate a program for 2-3 days whereby the visiting students stay with their Israeli peers and do a series of activities together. Together they will continue their shared learning and experiences.
Currently, Israel Connect works with students of over 40 middle schools.
A new project is currently being launched connecting university students from around the world with their Israeli peers - IDF soldiers and Israeli students.