You may already be aware of The Jewish Agency for Israel because Akron is served by Jewish Agency shlichim (Israeli emissaries), who build bridges between the Israeli and American Jewish communities and organize Israel experiences.
When you support JCBA’s Annual Campaign, you help make the shlichim program possible; our campaign also supports the other work The Jewish Agency does. The agency ensures that every Jewish person, no matter where they are in the world, feels an unbreakable bond to one another and to Israel. Here are some of its programs in Israel and worldwide.
Assisting vulnerable populations in Israel
A subsidiary of The Jewish Agency, Amigour provides quality housing to new immigrants, single-parent families, and the elderly in Israel. Each year, about 7,000 older adults, most of whom are Holocaust survivors, live in 57 Amigour sheltered living complexes that also offer social and cultural services.
Connecting world Jewry
The Jewish Agency builds Jewish peoplehood through various programs, which connect Jews to Israel and to each other.
Project TEN is a service-learning program that brings young Jewish adults from Israel and around the world to volunteer, study, and travel together in Israel or developing regions. Volunteers study an integrated curriculum focusing on Jewish values and community. Project TEN centers are located in Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Mexico, and Israel.
Co-founded in 2004 by The Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, Masa Israel Journey is the global leader in long-term experiences in Israel for young Jewish adults ages 18-30. More than 130,000 Masa alumni from over 60 countries have spent two-twelve months “living like a local” in Israel, experiencing an authentic, unmediated, and challenging journey into Israeli society as well as its people, culture, politics, economy, land, and history.
For younger Jews, The Jewish Agency supports the following experiences worldwide:
- Bac Bleu Blanc, a teen Israel experience that annually brings around 1,000 Jewish teenagers to Israel from France.
- Teen trips for Jewish day schools in Mexico, bringing 95 percent of Mexico’s Jewish teenage population to Israel by the time they graduate from high school.
- Encounter, a 10-day educational trip to Israel for Jewish day school students from South Africa.
Shlichim: A Global Perspective
Shlichim cultivate Jewish identity not just in North American communities like Akron, but across the globe.
For instance, throughout the former Soviet Union (FSU), professionals devoted to the needs of Russian-speaking Jewry run a continuum of programs for all ages that reach tens of thousands of Jews in the FSU on an annual basis.
Each year, FSU summer, winter, and seasonal camps enable 8,000 young Russian-speaking Jews — ranging in age from 7 to young adulthood — to enjoy transformative Jewish learning experiences.
Since 2014, “specialty camps” in this region have taught participants marketable career skills while also helping them explore their Jewish heritage, such as a media and communications camp. Also launched in 2014, day camps aimed at providing dynamic Jewish experiences to children who have never attended sleep-away camp.