• Consider One of These 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

    This time of year it is common for people to reflect on the last 365 days and look towards the future. With 2019 right around the corner it is never too early to start making resolutions for personal enhancement for the year to come. Consider one of these New Year's resolutions and get excited for 2019 with one of our six unique trip options!


    Continue reading
  • Summer 2019 is Right Around the Corner!

    With 2019 less than two weeks away, does that mean we can start counting down to summer? In these cold winter months we all need something warm to look forward to. In my personal, unbiased opinion, there is nothing better than relaxing under the warm sun on the beaches of Tel Aviv, sleeping under the stars on the sand in the Negev, or taking a pleasant float in the Dead Sea. With only 6 months left before our first trip departs, here is a list of things our teens will learn in just the first week on our once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Israel!


    Continue reading
  • Three Things You Can Only Do with NFTY in Israel This Summer

    A summer on NFTY in Israel is so much more than a few weeks in a different country. Through adventure, food, games, sports, social justice, hiking, swimming, science and technology, Hebrew, climbing mountains, sleeping under the stars, and so much more, teens on NFTY in Israel return home with so much more than they left with (and I’m not just talking about the souvenirs).


    Continue reading
  • Beyond the Headlines: Connecting Jews on the Ground in Israel

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director As director of the URJ’s NFTY in Israel initiative and a resident of Jerusalem, I was asked recently to write a blog post about Israel. With that in mind, I am going back to a topic I know well – or at least one I care about deeply: the complicated relationship between […]


    Continue reading
  • There is something remarkable about Hanukkah in Jerusalem

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director Hanukkah is without a doubt a peculiar Holiday. And not because it commemorates a story about a victory where the few prevailed against the many, and the weak won out against the strong. We are all familiar with the theme, “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat,” a theme that […]


    Continue reading
  • The 8 Miracles of NFTY in Israel

    Hanukkah is here and, in the spirit of the season, we're excited to share eight moments that will make your NFTY in Israel trip this summer as miraculous as that little jar of oil lasting for all eight nights! Of course, like the Hanukkah oil, there is so much more to the miracle of a NFTY in Israel summer than just what is on this list!


    Continue reading
  • Hanukkah and Hinuch (Jewish Education)

    t is winter now in Jerusalem and we are just a few days away from Hanukkah. Hanukkah was born in Jerusalem. It was a victory celebration of a minority people whose culture had been outlawed by the tyranny of the majority. The Hebrew word Hanukkah is connected to the Hebrew word for Hinuch “Education.”


    Continue reading
  • The Ultimate Throwback Thursday (TBT)

    NFTY in Israel has been leading trips to Israel since 1958. With an alumni database of nearly 30,000 teens, we have an extensive collection of photos taken over the last 60 years. For a classic TBT post, here are some favorite photos over the last 10 years.


    Continue reading
  • How to Talk with Teens about Israel: A Framing for Embracing Complexity

    Israel engagement for young people, like every aspect of Jewish engagement, requires each new generation to make it their own. Although we sometimes talk about Israel’s complexity as one of the most difficult educational challenges in Jewish education, it really is part of the same package of big questions our youth are asking about Judaism’s relevance to living in a diverse, pluralistic, and globalized world. While their questions may challenge us, the act of questioning should be seen as a natural part of their development as well as the Jewish people’s self-renewal.


    Continue reading
  • Teaching NFTY in Israel Teens about the real Israel

    It is October in Jerusalem, the weather is beautiful, and we are now completing the itineraries for our fun packed and educationally enriching Israel adventures for NFTY in Israel Summer 2019. The educational aspect of the program is intentionally constructed to reflect the best progressive Jewish values of the Union for Reform Judaism. One of the most significant upgrades is that we are presenting a more nuanced and sophisticated encounter with the complexities and conflicts in Israeli society today.


    Continue reading