While the world still hung in the balance between uncertainty and hope and as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to rage on, twenty-one RootOne- supported youth organizations, residential camps and communities pulled off what many thought impossible. With the help of our amazing partners and through the work of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the generous support of the Marcus Foundation, 4,000 teens were able to experience meaningful and educational trips to Israel. They returned energized, renewed and with a passionate desire to dig deeper into their Jewish roots. With that in mind, our post-trip engagement programming began developing ways to continue the conversation with these teens, the future of the Jewish people.
On Sunday, October 17th, RootOne held its first National Advisory Committee meeting. Fourteen representatives from 10 youth organizations from across the country and different affiliations gathered to speak about Israel and where it fits into their lives post-trip. The committee’s goal is to allow the teens to take an active role in building their opportunities and share their needs regarding Israel engagement.
In the meeting, we spoke about their trip and what was meaningful for them. In addition, we discussed the challenges around Israel regarding social media, their peers, and the college campus. Many expressed the need to get more tools to address some of these issues. The committee gave recommendations about their post-trip needs and outlined some of their ideas for meaningful opportunities.
Entering its second year, RootOne is thrilled to be gearing up to bring nearly double the number of teens to Israel in 2022, as well as expanding the educational opportunities both pre- and- post trip for these young adults. We will continue to have these conversations with our National Advisory Committee throughout the year, so we can continue to learn and improve based on the needs of our teens directly. Exciting things are happening here – stay tuned!