2014 Young Ambassadors Delegation

9 Jan

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The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is proud to announce our ninth Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors delegation. Eight local teenagers were selected in December to be part of this teen leadership program and two week mission to Israel this year.

The Overseas Teen Travel Committee and Federation staff spent a great deal of time assessing the Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors Teen Leadership Program and implementing changes to focus the program more heavily on leadership and community. This year’s Young Ambassadors will participate in twelve diverse sessions before the mission to Israel, including leadership development, Israel education, community building, social and cultural activities. Four sessions will be held after the trip for the group to debrief and bring their skills and experience to our community.

The mission itself will present new and exciting changes as well.  We have carefully crafted an itinerary that will meet our goals for the group in Israel as well as when we return.  Many of the sites we visit will be examined through a lens of leadership – both biblical and modern – but the trip will also include meaningful cultural, spiritual, fun experiences and challenges. In addition to the “must-sees” like the Western Wall, Masada, the Dead Sea and camels, we will be encountering Federation-funded projects like Leket Israel’s Meal Rescue Project and the Jewish Agency’s Wings project for lone soldiers. This is a first for this mission; we feel that it is important for our teens to understand the impact our Federation makes worldwide. Our goal is to inspire them to give back to our community and to Israel.

In addition to the Young Ambassadors, fifteen other local teens will be representing the Federation in the context of Israel and leadership this year. Eight teens (six of whom are Young Ambassadors alumni) will be going on the March of the Living Mission to Poland and Israel to witness the evidence of the Holocaust and the independence of Israel; five high school and college students (four of which are Young Ambassadors and/or March of the Living alumni) will be traveling to Washington, D.C. for the AIPAC Policy Conference to learn to advocate for Israel; and two teens will attend the Panim el Panim Seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn about civic engagement and advocacy through Jewish values. All of these travel opportunities are part of the Shapiro Teen Engagement Program (STEP), connecting teens to their heritage, community, Israel and one another.

2014 Young Ambassadors:
Erica Brown
Adam Caldwell
Jared Dipsiner
Julie Lichterman
Jamie Metzger
Rachel Miller
Sam Weber
Maia Zildjian

For more information about STEP or teen travel opportunities, contact Amber Ikeman at 941.343.2106 or aikeman@jfedsrq.org.

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