JLIC Students Spend Summer as Global Service-Learning Fellows in New Program

19 Jun 2008

JLIC is a cooperative effort of the OU; Hillel: The Foundation for Campus Jewish Life; and the Torah Mitzion organization. JLIC is built around a young rabbi and his wife, who provide the educational and spiritual component as well as serve as role models for the students on campus.

The first annual JLIC Global Service-Learning Initiative Fellowship has been offered to men and women from the 15 campuses where JLIC is based. The 27 fellows selected come from the following six of those campuses: Boston University, Rutgers University; University of Maryland; New York University; UCLA; and the University of Illinois. In addition, two students come from guest colleges, Queens and Touro Colleges in New York. The other JLIC campuses are: Yale; Princeton; Cornell; the University of Pennsylvania; Brandeis University; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; Johns Hopkins University; and the University of Florida.

Rabbi Yehuda and Michelle Sarna, the JLIC representatives from NYU, and Rabbi Yisroel and Shoshana Porath, their counterparts from Rutgers, will serve as educators and guides for the students throughout their month-long stay in Israel. Funding for the Fellowship is being provided by the general JLIC budget and from NCSY alumni. The Fellowship, which consists of learning and social action programs; Shabbatons and trips to various sites around Israel with professional tour guides; exciting guest lecturers; and accommodations, is free for students. Participants need only to pay for their transportation to Israel and cover a minimum of personal expenses while there.

Rabbi Sarna declared, “Our hope is that this experience becomes a model for how college students can reflect on both their Jewish identity and their responsibility to the world. As some of the most privileged citizens of our global society – both past and present – we need to feel obligated to help others.”
Rabbi Ilan Haber, National Director of JLIC, declared, “The Global Service-Learning Fellowship is a pilot program that we hope to expand to include students from additional JLIC campuses. One of the great strengths of the Fellowship is the dual model of learning and internships, which sets an important standard in how the students participating should live their lives. Not only will it contribute to their personal development, but it will help them reinforce their sense of communal responsibility and engagement.”

The women will be based in Midreshet Harova, while the men will stay at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh; both schools are based in Jerusalem. Students will spend the morning learning, either in groups or from renowned guest speakers such as Dr. Menachem Leibtag, a teacher at Yeshivat Har Etzion and lecturer at a variety of seminaries and yeshivot; Rabbi Shaul Farber, founding director of the Jewish Life Information Center and author; and Dr. Avigail Rock, a Certified Rabbinical Advocate and lecturer on Tanach. The students will spend the afternoon interning at various social service organizations, such as AMIT; One Family Fund; Yad Sarah; and Yad Lakashish.