BEREN FOUNDATION GRANT TO NCSY PROGRAM GIVES TEENAGERS THE CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE ISRAEL THIS SUMMER
Four public high school students from across the country will enjoy a transformative summer experience in Israel this year as participants in NCSY’s summer program, The Jerusalem Journey (TJJ), assisted by a grant from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ.
The Beren Foundation supports a wide variety of programs of OU Kosher, and now extends its generosity to NCSY, the OU’s national youth program. The Foundation has provided grants of $1,000 apiece towards the full price of the trip “to four exceptional Jewish public high school students from across North America who have displayed a passionate commitment, interest, and willingness to learn more about Judaism,” according to David Cutler, Director of NCSY Summer Programs. This fellowship is intended “for a select group of teens with demonstrated leadership capabilities, and a willingness to work with NCSY professionals to bring the message of Jewish pride and commitment to other Jewish public school youth.”
The Beren foundation allocated the money to NCSY after Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of OU Kashrut Education, who administers the Beren grants for OU Kosher, recommended NCSY seek funding from the Beren foundation.
Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, declared, “NCSY is thrilled to partner with the Beren Foundation to help afford teens a life-changing experience that can serve to both build their connection to Judaism and Israel, as well as build up their leadership skills.”
As Fellows in TJJ, “these teens will embark on a life-altering summer experience that will make available to them to the beauty of Torah and the Land of Israel, as well as take part in important leadership building programming and experiences. This summer experience will enable the Fellows to experience the intersection of the historic and transcendent in the Land of Israel and utilize what they learn from their trip to inspire other Jewish teens and take on a further leadership role in their home communities,” said Rabbi Burg.
Prior to the summer, fellowship recipients will take part in uniquely tailored educational programming to prepare them for their trip. They will also volunteer 25 hours of community service in their hometowns upon their return.
Fellowship candidates must submit essays, no longer than 1000 words, that will explain how they intend to use their summer experience to impact their local Jewish communities in general and their Jewish public school classmates in particular, and how they have already displayed their leadership capabilities and dedication to Jewish learning and community activism. The essays must be submitted by April 15 to David Cutler at Cutlerd@ou.org.
Applicants will be notified by May 1, 2008 if they have been accepted to the fellowship program.