For over 25 years, Shvut Ami has been leading the fight to help reconnect Russian Jews to Jewish life in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and in Israel.
One of the most successful tools that we have used to accomplish this goal is the life-changing “Jerusalem Fellows” program. We encourage groups of Jewish university students from the FSU to spend two weeks with us in Israel where we help them to explore their Jewish Heritage through a combination of fun & meaningful tours of the country and inspiring classes & seminars.
We have found that by providing these low-cost educational Israel experiences to young Jews at a time in their lives when they are looking for answers and making important decisions, we are able to engage them and motivate them to give their Yiddishkeit another chance.
Many of the participants get to experience the beauty of an authentic Shabbat for the very first time in their lives, and they all complete the program with a greatly enhanced sense of Jewish identity and connection to their Jewish roots and to the Land of Israel.
After the program ends, Shvut Ami tries to encourage as many students as possible to stay on in Israel to continue their studies but we stay in touch with those participants that return home to the FSU, organising ongoing study sessions over skype or the phone and connecting them to teachers and programs back in their own cities. Many of these alumni become “Jewish Ambassadors” who are eager to pass along their inspiration, excitement and newfound Jewish knowledge to others.
The “Jerusalem Fellows” program has proven itself as an effective and powerful tool in reigniting the Jewish interest of those who participate and providing a positive, meaningful and lasting Jewish experience.
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