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Young Judaea





Dear Hadassah leadership,


We are selling bracelets for YJ scholarships.  Young Judaea and our Israel programs are vital for Future leadership and Jewish continuity.  We have some bracelets in the office.  Please find attached the flier and order form.

Presidents please,  if you can send any funds for scholarships please send to me or Alex Corona at Hadassah house earmarked for scholarships.  You will get full goal credit.

Todah Rabah


Carol Weiss

Hadassah National Board

Young Judaea Scholarships Fundraising Chair



Shalom!  Young Judaea Year Course is a gap year program for recent high school graduates that’s far from a year off between high school and college – it’s a year ON! 

 By creating a dynamic program focused on immersing its participants into the culture and traditions of Israel, Year Course participants simultaneously experience the country through academics and on-the-ground volunteer work.  Their work on the grass roots level, combined with college accredited coursework, makes Year Course the most productive and stimulating gap year program available. 

 Since its inception in 1956, Year Course has been proud to emphasize the importance of civic dialogue and through its leadership and activism seminars as it prepares its alumni to be game-changers in their future professions.  Over 4,600 young people have participated in the year course program, cementing the original Gap Year in Israel as the most vaunted.

 In addition to its Year Course program, Young Judaea also offers an Orthodox/observant track called Shalem.  Shalem combines a Beit Midrash program of traditional Torah and text studies with the volunteering and social activism component for which Young Judaea is known. 

 Please visit www.youngjudaea.org for more information about the program and please pass this information along to your chapter presidents or to anyone who would like assistance or more information. Our calendar fills up quickly, so feel free to contact me if there are particular times that will work better within your schedule for me to speak with you and other leadership more in-depth about all of the programs that Young Judaea offers.

 I look forward to working with you!

B’Shalom, Alysha Erez

Young Judaea Southeast Field Representative

786-571-8954,    Alysha.Erez@youngjudaea.org



 Young Judaea is about Tikun Olam
(repairing the world)

For more than a century, and in a quickly changing world, Young Judaeans have been successfully changing the world - whether it has been working to help create the State of Israel, joining in the struggle for civil rights in the United States, marching to free the Soviet Jews, caravanning to New Orleans with supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, or helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy - Young Judaeans respond.

Young Judaea embarked on an unprecedented journey as it stepped out into the world to form a new organization.  The independent journey began with an agreement with Hadassah, which included important transition funding.  The needs of our revitalized Movement have evolved in the last decade and we continue to need your help.

You and I know the future of Young Judaea is the next generation.  It has been proven that sending our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to Young Judaea programs creates leaders, and leaders make their voices heard.

YJ's scholarship fund needs your continued support so it can continue to provide the exceptional level of Jewish camps, year-round activities, Year Course and Israel programs for the next generation of Judaeans.


Your chapter can participate in raising funds for Young Judaea, including a matching funds program for Camp Judaea.   Please contact the Region office for more information.

Call 561-498-1012.



 Camp Judaea, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, opened on June 17th for its 52nd summer of exciting, dynamic Zionist camping with the record number of 479 children enrolled and still counting!

Known as “A Little Bit of Israel in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains”, this is the summer camp that the Florida Atlantic Region loves and supports.

 New this summer are five beautiful brand new cabins, a woodland shelter for overnights with our youngest campers, an expanded healthcare center and a farm. A farm?   Yes, we have expanded our vegetable garden program to include two goats and some chickens and a full-time farm instructor.

 I am pleased to tell you that the Harold Grinspoon Foundation will again match chapter dollars donated directly to camp.  The rules of this match are: donors (either a chapter, individual, or family group) who donate $1800 or more payable over 3 years will have Grinspoon match it.  The pledge must be made by March, 2104 and 1/3 paid within 60 days.  The balance must be paid by September 18, 2016.  This must come directly to Camp Judaea, not to Hadassah.

 I hope that many of you will continue your support in this way.

 Your love and dedication shows in every smile on our happy    campers’ faces and in every inch of our beautiful camp.

 You make an immeasurable difference!

 Thank You!  Barbara Extein



New Independence for Young Judaea

Young Judaea, the Zionist youth movement, is now an independent organization. Hadassah, which has been Young Judaea's sole sponsor since 1967and supported the movement for more than 25 years before that, will provide transition funding for three years. Read the Press Release >>


Independence Day for Young Judaea

Hadassah empowers Zionist youth movement,  forges ongoing partnership


NEW YORK -- Young Judaea took hold of its own future today as its longstanding sponsor, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, set it on a celebrated road to independence, the organizations announced jointly.

Last June, the national board of Hadassah voted to turn the 103-year-old Zionist youth movement into an independent, not-for-profit entity so that it could more fully fashion its own destiny in a changing youth landscape. Long regarded for its leadership training, pluralist ideology, and activism, Young Judaea serves 5,000 Jewish children, teens, and young adults annually through U.S. camps and Israel programs.

Hadassah National President Marcie Natan said it took a year to complete the historic separation, and although the timing is notable, it was not planned to coincide with the Fourth of July.

“The fact that this is Independence Week in the United States has not been lost on us and is certainly appropriate in the evolution of Young Judaea,” she said. “Like a child leaving the nest, Young Judaea will always be part of the Hadassah family. Hadassah members take tremendous pride in how effective Young Judaea is in creating permanent connections between American youth and Israel.”

Young Judaea Board President David Bechhofer said generations of movement graduates offer tremendous appreciation to Hadassah for the opportunities it has given --and will continue to give -- American Jewish youth.

“Through Hadassah’s passion and guidance, Young Judaea taught each of us that together, we can change the world,” said Bechhofer, an alumnus of Young Judaea's Year Course in Israel, the preeminent freshman gap-year program that was also attended by his daughter. “We are not only taking over Young Judaea, we are taking responsibility for it and for the future leadership of the Jewish people as we move forward together.”

The new entity will be run by a professional staff under Inaugural Executive Director Simon Klarfeld, who was hired in December to set up operations and envision the next century of youth engagement with Israel. A board of directors is in formation and will be announced in the coming weeks. A smaller Founding Board has been overseeing the changeover. As part of the plan:

·      Young Judaea will undergo a staff restructuring to enable it to operate as a national organization in its own right. 

·      Hadassah, which has been Young Judaea’s sole sponsor since 1967 and supported the movement for more than 25 years before that, will provide transition funding for three years. During that time, Young Judaea will reach out to its vast network of alumni as well as foundations and other major donors to secure funding for growth initiatives, scholarships and grants, and capital improvements and expansion at Tel Yehudah, its national teen leadership camp in New York, as well as Camp Judaea in North Carolina, Camp Young Judaea Midwest in Wisconsin, Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake in New York, andCamp Young Judaea Texas.

Klarfeld said current camp and Israel program participants can expect a seamless transition.

·     Hadassah units will continue to raise scholarship funding to make Young Judaea’s summer and year-round programs increasingly available to all Jewish children.

·    Young Judaea is creating a new national database of alumni, friends, and family.  Bechhofer encouraged all Young Judaeans worldwide to step up and join the conversation.

·      Young Judaea will remain based at Hadassah’s New York headquarters for several months as it finalizes arrangements for new office space.

·      The organizations, whose missions are closely linked, plan to stay connected through Hadassah participation on boards and committees of Young Judaea, educational programming, scholarship fundraising, and other initiatives.

“We share the same mission regarding Israel activism and education,” Natan said. “Hadassah is excited about continuing its more than 70 years of support of Jewish youth leadership through Young Judaea.”

Hiking Shvil Yisrael

Posted in Photos, Section 3, Staff Contributions on 11. Dec, 2011

Justin Jacobs, Section 3 madrich

Right now, twelve chanichim are in the middle of week two of hiking Shvil Yisrael, Israel’s national trail, with madricha Shawna Dolinka. I spent the first week (and will rejoin next week) hiking and leading the chanichim through experiences on the trail that none of us will ever forget.

The first morning was the hardest.  Waking up at 5 AM, as the frigid, dry desert air made every layer of clothing seem like not enough, twelve Section 3 chanichim slowly crawled out of their tents into the still-dark morning.  We’d already been through a full day of hiking, but that first morning after our first night was tough. By 6:30, we’d eaten our pre-breakfast, packed the tents and all of our clothing, split up that day’s breakfast and lunch food and set out to the trail.  We hiked for almost 10 hours that day through the Negev, walking through Makhtesh Ramon (a huge crater-like dent in the earth unique to Israel).

Some Section 3 chanichim volunteered in Arad this semester and some joined Marva, but only the 12 who spent the semester on Kibbutz Ketura are having an experience quite like this. Shvil Yisrael is an extensive network of trails that extend all over Israel.  In the last three weeks of first semester, these 12 chanichim will hike three gorgeous sections of it, all ending with a trek down the Eilat Mountains to the Red Sea.

And our first week couldn’t have been more incredible.

It didn’t quite hit everyone until that first morning, when we awoke unbelievably cold a few kilometers away from Ramon’s Tooth, the highest peak in the makhtesh which we’d climbed the day before. Adjusting to life on the trail took some time. Our daily schedule:  waking up before dawn each morning, hiking 90 minutes before eating a real breakfast, expecting to see no less than two breathtaking views a day, making it to camp and starting to prepare dinner by 4, eating by 7, and falling asleep by 9.

Three meals a day? Nah-climbing mountains all day, we needed four. And though the hike was filled with incredible moments, it was often those breakfasts and lunches on the trail that were the most fun. All 12 chanichim, our trail guide Yoash, medic Aviram and myself worked together to prepare each meal, cutting vegetables, making tachina and tuna (in a bag, for lack of plates), clearing an area to sit and, eventually, eating together.

By now, midway through their second week, the chanichim are used to days on the trail. That transformation is complete. But after week three comes the hard part — saying goodbye to the trail for now, and hello to Jerusalem.

Take a look at some great pictures here from the week.



Young Judaea is the

“Young Heart” of Hadassah

  • Young Judaea Names Inaugural Executive Director
  • This “Young Heart” is kept beating by Young Judaea Clubs,
    Young Judaea Camps, Young Judaea Summer Course in
    Israel, and Young Judaea Year Course in Israel.

     To get the "dirt" on Year Course from Keith Berman, Director of Young Judaea Year Course in Israel, click on the link below:
    Young Judaea Year Course


    Breaking News....


    June 16, 2011
    NEW YORK– Young Judaea, the world’s premiere Zionist youth movement, will launch as an independent organization under a bold initiative announced today by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which has supported the program for more than 70 years.

     A group of former Young Judaea leaders, avid Young Judaea supporters, and Hadassah leaders has been asked to serve on the founding board of the newly independent organization.  Hadassah will continue to provide financial support, have board representation, and work collaboratively with the 102-year-old movement, said Hadassah National President NancyFalchuk.  

     The founding board, which will create a nominating committee to help structure a board of directors to oversee the new organization, is comprised of the following members: Don Ashkenase of Great Neck, N.Y., Special Advisor to the President at Montefiore Medical Center; David Bechhofer of Newton, Mass., Partner at Bain & Company, Inc., a strategic consulting firm; Michael Berman of Minnetonka, Minn., President of Berman Medical, a medical devices start-up firm; Steve Berman of Atlanta, Ga., President of OA Development, a commercial real estate development firm; Betsy August Gold, of Hillsdale, N.J., a former journalist who now runs a small business; Mike Lasday of North Potomac, Md., former Co-CEO of EnvisionEMI experiential education company; Hadassah National Vice President Roni Schwartz of Brooklyn, N.Y., a speech pathologist who is the incoming National Young Judaea Coordinator for Hadassah; Michael Sherman of New York, N.Y., attorney and Senior Advisor for Peter J. Solomon Co., an investment banking firm; and incoming Hadassah National Vice President Shelley Sherman of Great Neck, N.Y., a former public service attorney who serves as the current National Young Judaea Coordinator for Hadassah.

     Most of the nine have been very active in Young Judaea and Hadassah in recent years, holding lay leadership positions on camp boards as well as task forces, commissions and committees of the organizations.

     “The alumni of Young Judaea are proud that Hadassah’s national board voted this week to help the movement become independent,” Michael Berman said.  “With the leadership and support of Hadassah, Young Judaea will have the tools it needs to grow and strengthen.  Young Judaea will continue to be the go-to group for unparalleled Jewish youth leadership development and Israel engagement.” 

     Nancy Falchuk echoed Berman on the continued close connection between Young Judaea and Hadassah, which became the sole sponsor of the youth movement in1967.

     “For some time, many of us have felt that Young Judaea should stand as an independent entity, giving it the power to reach its full potential,” she said.  “We are so proud and excited that such outstanding alumni and family of the movement have taken the lead on this transition.  Who better to take Young Judaea into the future?”

    Michael Berman said the immediate goals of the revitalized pluralistic youth movement include:      

    •      Creating a cohesive summer camp network and broadening the scope of its Israel offerings, including Year Course in Israel, its preeminent college gap-year program;

    •       Providing new energy for Young Judaea as a vibrant brand with relevant peer-led opportunities for connecting American youth to Israel and the Jewish people; and

    •       Reaching out to its vast alumni network and Jewish community leaders worldwide to participate in the re-envisioning process and serve on the new Young Judaea board.

     “Our programs, including Year Course and summer camps, will continue as they always have, and the overall transition will be seamless,” Berman said.   “We are excited about the prospects of working with Hadassah to further strengthen what Young Judaea is and all that it has to offer.”

    Alan Hoffmann, Director General of the Jewish Agency for Israel, said Jewish community leaders are excited about a reinvigorated youth leadership movement.  “Creating a vibrant, independent Young Judaea will strengthen the bonds between Israel and the next generation of leaders in the American Jewish community,” he said.

     Guiding Young Judaea toward independence has been a Hadassah goal.  “This is what the broader Jewish community has been looking to us to do,” Falchuk said.  “Young Judaea is the gold standard for Jewish youth movements, and as Hadassah increases its focus on health care and other issues, nothing could make us prouder than to have the legacy of being a part of Young Judaea for so many years.  To have a self-sustaining Young Judaea, and to have us continue to be a part of that, will be fabulous for both organizations.

    “This is Hadassah’s gift to the Jewish Zionist community.  Today, Hadassah enthusiastically proposes the next step for the next century: The re-launch of Young Judaea by the very leaders it trained to make a difference in the world.”

    Falchuk said Hadassah is committed to remaining an important partner, providing transition funding, and continuing to raise scholarships to make Young Judaea’s five summer camps, year-round activities, and Israel programs increasingly available to all Jewish youth.

    Young Judaea, the Zionist youth movement, challenges young people to become involved in social and educational activities that develop and sharpen their senses of Jewish and Zionist identity.  Since 1936, Hadassah has worked to strengthen Young Judaea, a youth movement started in 1909.  Through expansions of its national camping system, innovative year-round activities, and prestigious Israel programs, Hadassah strategically placed itself at the forefront of Zionist education and engagement for American Jewish youth.

    In addition to Year Course, Young Judaea programs include Camp Tel Yehudah, Camp Judaea, Camp Young Judaea Midwest, Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake, Camp Young Judaea Texas, Alternative Winter Break, Israel Summer Programs,Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, Amirim and WUJS Israel.


     For more information, please visit www.youngjudaea.org.



    Influence a Jewish young adult, ages 8-35, to sign up for any of our exciting Israel or American Programs

    And Win an Award for your Region or Big Chapter!


    names of kids for YJ Programs

    and you will be rewarded!

    Danielle Rubinstein
    Southeast Recruiter - Young Judaea/Hadassah Israel Programs

    Office: 305-573-6921
    Mobile: 786-269-8999
    Fax: 305-576-4448

    E-mail: DRubinstein@YoungJudaea.org

    4200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137

    Website: http://www.yjisrael.org

    Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/YJDanielleFB
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/YJIsraelFlorida 



      Young Judaea is 104 years young!

    Florida Atlantic Region Office


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