This summer, CJP has partnered with the Jewish Agency to send 40 students to Israel on a program called Onward Israel Yalla. CJP has taken the lead in spearheading a new type of Israel trip that was missing; finally a trip for Birthright Alumni and anyone else who has been to Israel before and now wants to immerse themselves in its everyday life.

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Students choose from two tracks: one group of students will be focused in Haifa, while the other will be centered in Jerusalem. Those on the Jerusalem track will enjoy living adjacent to Ben Yehuda street. By the end of the seven-week program, students will have become fully acquainted with the city and its many beauties, while at the same time working hard and obtaining skills in Israel, one of the world’s leading technology hubs. Participants intern in fields as diverse as a diamond exchange to a Spanish-language newspaper.

Those who choose the Haifa path take a slightly different turn, with the focus centered on service with at-risk populations in the community. The six-week program will allow students to directly meet and interact with local Israeli activists, while creating a better community for all types of residents: Haredi, Arab, as well as those from the former Soviet Union. For students, this trip will challenge the way they think about Judaism, Israel, and social change.

Matt Haimowitz, a Tufts University student involved with Tufts Friends of Israel, described his decision to join the program: “I am excited to further immerse myself in Israeli culture by experiencing what it is like to work with Israelis who come from different backgrounds…I hope to better understand what it is like to be a part of the Israeli society as a whole.”

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