Jewish teens in Israel
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-08-23
Jewish teens in Israel photo: Avi Hirschfield
Despite tension in the Middle East, 1600 young British Jews visited Israel over the summer on UJIA's Israel Experience.
The UJIA Israel Experience works across all sections of the British Jewish community including Reform Synagogue youth and Federation of Zionist Youth.
The programme offered participants an opportunity to explore Israel and connect with young Israelis.
One highlight for many was Israelis On The Buses. This involved 34 16-year-old Israelis joining with British teens and touring together across the country on buses.
"The Israelis on our bus, fast became a central part of the tour," said Jonny Bunt, a FZY participant." The impressions and friendships they made will last a very long time. It was particularly important to have Israelis from the north of Israel this year."
According to UJIA chief executive Douglas Krikler, the experience has allowed British young Jews to better connect with their Israeli peers. "We know that peer-group educational experiences are one of the strongest tools in building Jewish identity and connection to Israel and we can be proud that UJIA Israel Experience is a world leader in this field. We hope that these teenagers will return to Israel for a Gap Year once they have finished their A levels and once again show their solidarity with the people of Israel at this challenging time."