On July 10, 20 Baltimore teens embarked on an once-in-a-lifetime trip to Israel through the Baltimore Diller Teen Fellows programs. During their three weeks, the teens participate in amazing experiences such as climbing Masada at sunrise, celebrating Shabbat in Jerusalem, and rafting in the Jordan River.
What makes this experience different than most other teen tours to Israel? This trip comes after a year-long leadership program, giving the Diller teens the opportunity to connect with their Jewish identity, build leadership skills, create community service projects and develop a love of Israel. The learning continues in Israel when the teens will attend a five-day Teen Leadership Congress, bringing over 120 teens from North America together to focus on leadership and Jewish identity. The teens also have the unique opportunity to participate in hands-on volunteer experiences while in Israel.
Another unique component of the Diller program is the mifgash (literally meaning encounter in Hebrew) with teens from Ashkelon, Baltimore’s partnership community in Israel. While in Israel, the Baltimore teens will be hosted in the homes of their Israeli counterparts, who are also participating in a parallel Diller program in Ashkelon. Through the mifgash, Israel becomes more than a place to visit for the teens, but now somewhere to call home.
The teens will be in Israel through the end of July. To read about their experiences, which include personal insights, breathtaking pictures and even a video of the teen’s encounter with NBA star Omry Caspi, I encourage you to check out the Baltimore Diller Teen Fellows Blog at www.baltimoredillerteenfellows.blogspot.com.
For more information about the Baltimore Diller Teen Fellows program, please contact Megan Goldsmith at Jewish Volunteer Connection at 410-843-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.