Braiding Together Long-Lasting Connections

Posted on 06/24/2022 @ 06:00 AM

Tags: Teen Education & Engagement, IsraelNow

Our very first IsraelNow-Miami cohort got together for a reunion and evening of memorable activities.
You’ll recall that IsraelNow is an immersive travel experience for 8th graders who are not enrolled in a Jewish day school. It has a proven record of success in getting teens to fall in love with Israel and then become active participants in community programs upon their return.
With generous Federation funders supporting the program, the first-ever pilot IsraelNow trip with 10 Miami-Dade teens traveled to Israel over Spring Break. The Miami contingent was part of a group of almost 120 teens from Chicago, Rochester and Cleveland. 


To relive one of the experiences of the IsraelNow trip – when the participants baked pita bread during a culinary class in Jerusalem – the teens and their madrichot/ counselors gathered for a hands-on Challah bake workshop to learn the baking process, the laws connected to separating the Challah, and the significance and symbolism of this Jewish tradition.

While waiting for the Challah dough to rise, the teens explored the website which lists all the activities and resources available to them within the Miami Jewish Community.
One of the highlights of the evening occurred when the participants watched a video with photographs of the places they visited and activities they participated in while in Israel.
This opportunity to reflect allowed the teens to process the IsraelNow trip experience and continue our social connection with them.
At the end, they left with friendships that will last a lifetime as well as Challah to share with their families.

If you know a rising 8th grader who does not attend a Jewish Day School, forward this information to them. Applications for the 2023 Spring Break trip will open in the Fall.
For more information about IsraelNow, please contact Claudine Ackerman at