Perfect Chanukah Gift: NCSY Summer Program, 2012

01 Dec 2011


This year, give a Chanukah present that you can’t gift-wrap but is sure to have a more dramatic impact: a spot in an NCSY Summer Program.

NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership, the Orthodox Union’s international youth program, plays a pivotal role in the lives of Jewish teens around the world. The organization’s multitude of educational and fun-filled activities, retreats and programs, help Jewish teens to connect with and appreciate their Jewish heritage and the land of Israel, as an investment in the future of the Jewish people.

“NCSY runs the most inspirational teen trips to destinations near and far,” declared Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY. “If you want your teen to have a great summer and be fired up and passionate about Judaism and Israel, NCSY is the way to go.”

David Cutler, Director of NCSY Summer Programs, noted, “NCSY Summer Programs are so much more than fun summers — they are life-changing experiences that last a lifetime.”

Building on the success and feedback of past NCSY summer participants, NCSY has created BILT (Boys Israel Leadership Training), a new five-week program for high school boys in grades 9-12. BILT participants will volunteer at places such as a camp for Israeli children and an occupational factory for the blind; will camp out and cookout under the stars of Kfar Shamai (in Israel’s northern Galilee region) during a four-day trek across the country; build and race rafts on the Kinneret Sea, and snorkel in Eilat; and experience life on an Israeli kibbutz, and army training on an Israel Defense Force base.

NCSY features a variety of summer programs that cater to the many interests of Jewish teens of different ages. Though this year’s summer programs include annual ones like JOLT (Jewish Overseas Leadership Training), some of the trips have changed. ICE (Israel and Central Europe) a five-week program, previously exploring Jewish communities within Israel and Central Europe, will this year take participants to Spain and Gibraltar, before heading off to Israel, to compare European society with Israeli culture.

A participant last summer from St. Louis Park, MN, shared, “NCSY ICE was an experience of a lifetime. I learned so much more about Judaism, Israel, and myself! I made the most amazing friends, and now I have the most incredible memories. It truly was the greatest summer ever!”

Registration for the programs is now open. An early-bird registration discount of $250 is available through January 2. Past participants may inquire about an additional discount at {encode=”” title=””}. Scholarship assistance is also available.

The summer 2012 NCSY programs include:

GIVE (Girls Israel Volunteer Experience) – Program for girls grades 9-12 that provides the opportunity to create a carnival for children from Sderot; teach Ethiopian children how to read Hebrew; and develop, and participate in activities with mentally disabled children and adults.

• ICE (Israel and Central Europe) – Tour exotic locations such as Spain and Gibraltar, then Israel. Experience great touring, educational programming and community service projects. Available to those in grades 9-12.

• JOLT (Jewish Overseas Leadership Training) – a leadership program that begins in Poland at Majdanek, Treblinka, Lublin and Auschwitz; then goes to the Austrian Alps to be a counselor at an OU/NCSY summer camp, run in partnership with the Lauder Yeshurun Outreach Organization, to connect with Jewish children from across Eastern Europe. After Europe, participants travel to Israel. Available to those in grades 10-12.

Kollel – In Jerusalem, boys (grades 9-12) will intensify their commitment to Judaism through learning, playing competitive sports, engaging in recreational activities and touring Israel.

Michlelet – In Israel, girls (grades 9-12) will learn Torah on beginners through advanced levels, while touring Israel and participating in recreational and volunteer activities.

TJJ (The Jerusalem Journey) – Public school co-ed students grades 9-12 will explore Israel by participating in activities such as archeological digs, hiking up Masada, visiting the Kotel, and swimming in the Kineret.

TJJ Ambassadors – Public school students in grades 10-12 participate in a leadership training program in areas such as social action and political advocacy, combined with high level study and touring in Israel.

• Camp Sports – Baltimore-based camp for boys in grades 8-11, featuring baseball, football, soccer, basketball, and frisbee in competitive leagues and recreationally. Includes paintballing, trip to Hershey Park, watching a demolition derby, and 20 other field trips.

For more information on these programs, and to register, visit NCSY’s website at, call 1-888-TOUR-4-YOU, or e-mail David Cutler, NCSY Director of Summer Programs at {encode=”” title=””}.

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