winter 2012-13 certificate of excellence in educational programming
For the third season in a row, IsraelExperts is proud to recieve the highest honor and award from Taglit-Birthright Israel. We are looking forward to Season 29 this summer!
Pictured (left to right): Gidi Mark, CEO Birthright Israel, Gia Arnstein, IsraelExperts Director of Birthright Israel, Jodie Katz, IsraelExperts Birthright Israel Senior Educator and Professor Barry Chazan, Birthright Israel Founding International Director of Education
SUMMER 2012 CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
Taglit-Birthright Israel awarded its overall Certificate of Excellence in Education for the recently concluded BRI season, to only one Trip Organizer, IsraelExperts! Below is our president, Joe Perlov, and Director of our Taglit-Birthright Israel Department Gia Arnstein, accepting the award from one of Taglit-Birthright Israel's founders, Charles Bronfman.
winter 2012-2013 Certificate of Excellence in Educatonal Programming
We are proud to announce that Taglit-Birthright Israel has presented IsraelExperts with a Certificate of Excellence in Educational Programming. This award is based on "Content, Guiding & Staffing, Group Dynamics, Mifgashim, and Logistics."
The Best in Creative Programming
Previously, IsraelExperts was presented with an award by Taglit-Birthright Israel for the best in creative programming. This specific award is given based on "achievement over time in developing trips with innovative ten day educational programming and/or achievement in regularly updating ten day programs components or modules.”
For more information about IsraelExperts
For our guarantees
How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden
In 2007, Sarah Glidden was a participant on an IsraelExperts Taglit-Birthright Israel trip and her experience in Israel led to the creation of her graphic novel entitled How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less. This graphic novel was released by Vertigo publishing and is the story of Sarah’s time in Israel and the evolution of her understanding and personal perspective on Israel as it relates to both the conflict and her own life.
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by Jill Garbi
Special to NJ Jewish News
February 14, 2011
While visiting Israel last month on the first Taglit-Birthright Israel trip from Monmouth County, 40 young adults climbedone morning before sunrise.
From the summit, they shouted “Ani chai” (“I’m alive”) in unison, hearing the words travel through the valley and circle back in an enormous, embracing echo.
The experiment was inspired by participant Austin Dam, 22, of Little Silver, who first bellowed the words while meditating deep within thedesert the day before.
“I felt this huge adrenalin rush and started shaking and crying. It was a really profound experience I can’t quite put into words,” Austin said. “I’ve never felt so connected and so in-the-moment like I did in Israel. I’ve never been in a place where there was that much history that had to do with me and my people.”
That strong sense of connection to Israel is exactly what Alan Winters and Lauren Reich intended when they embarked on an effort that raised $60,000 for Jewish Federation of Monmouth County’s first Birthright trip. The funds were matched by a Taglit-Birthright grant that enabled 20 young adults from Monmouth County to participate in the free trip.
The Jan. 2-12 trip was led by IsraelExperts touring company, with group leader Jason Moses of Howell, and included visits to, Jerusalem, Tzfat, Kibbutz Ein Shemer, Masada and the . The Monmouth contingent were accompanied by 20 young adults sponsored by United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ.
“It’s an eye-opening revelation for these young people to go to Israel for the first time. They will help support Israel one day, just the way their parents and grandparents support Israel today,” said Winters, an Elberon resident, and Dam’s grandfather.
The Monmouth federation hopes to sponsor its own Birthright trip every year, said president Stu Abraham. “Helping build stronger connections to Judaism and Israel is one of the most important things we can do at federation,” he said. “I only wish when I was that age that I could have been offered a trip like that.”
Until now, Monmouth County applicants were waitlisted on other regions’ trips, said Reich, a Manalapan resident whose three children have gone on prior Birthright trips. “If we don’t get these young adults to Israel, not only will they not have a connection to Israel, but in many cases their ties to Judaism will not flourish,” she said.
The Monmouth group included three siblings — Melissa, Adam, and Emily Osborne — who said they plan to host a Shabbat dinner reunion next month at their Fair Haven home for all the participants. The Osbornes each said they were moved by the trip in ways that have changed them forever. They’ve been going to temple services nearly every Shabbat since their return, and Melissa, 25, is working with a Hebrew language tutor once a week.
“Before the trip, I was a little intimidated about going to Israel,” said Adam, 22. “But when I was there I realized it was the best experience of my life.”
Travis Tarrab, 25, of Holmdel, was also hesitant about taking time off from his job in retail sales to visit Israel. When his mother, Sheri, the federation’s campaign vice president, offered to supplement the income he would miss while away, it clinched the deal.
“Feeling unsure of how I would connect to Israel went out the window as soon as we boarded the flight in New York. By the time we left the Western Wall I had discovered just how touching faith can be,” Tarrab said.
Many of the participants said they are keeping in touch with the many friends they made in Israel, including the IDF soldiers who accompanied them for several days.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last month that Israel approved $100 million in funding for Taglit-Birthright Israel over the next three years. The goal of the funding increase is to enable Birthright to bring 51,000 young Jewish adults annually on the 10-day free educational trip by 2013.
“This trip made me realize that Judaism isn’t only about religion, but also about our unique culture that we have to perpetuate,” said Samantha Farber, 20, of Marlboro. “I want to say thank you to federation for sending our group on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Registration is now under way for a second Taglit-Birthright Israel trip to be held this summer, which is also open to 20 participants from Monmouth. For more information about applying for the summer 2011 trip, visit www.absolutelyisrael.com.