Record numbers for Year 10 Israel programs
336 students are in Israel at the moment participating in Year 10 programs. That is 60 more than last year (which was a jump of 50 on the previous year), proving the success of the voucher system implemented by Youth 2 Israel (Y2i). Every Year 10 student in NSW/ACT/QLD, with a parent who is Jewish, is eligible for a $5,000 voucher towards an approved Israel-based educational program of five weeks or more.
The newly released Y2i Annual Report shows there has been a 114% increase in participation since 2014. Upwards of 80%.of eligible students in Emanuel, Masada and Moriah are now in Israel. This year Kesser Torah College are piloting their own program, involving Year 9 and 10 students.
There is significant momentum in the Jewish Day Schools, with students talking about the program as soon as they reach high school.
The primary target for future growth, according to the Chair of Y2i, Jeremy Dunkel, is those students who are not in a Jewish Day School. “We have seen an incredible 158% increase in numbers for Non-Jewish Day School students since 2014. There are now kids coming from a variety of schools, such as St Spyridon, Marist College, St Catherine’s, Griffith High, Reddam House, Cranbrook and Kambala, to name a few ”
Engaging a generation
The theme of the Annual Report is ‘engaging a generation’, because Y2i is taking an approach that is not just about going to Israel for a trip. There are opportunities before the programs and leave and after they return for the students to be involved in the local community. In additional Y2i is working to encourage participation in gap year programs.
Jeremy says, “We want all the students to feel their own personal connection with the local Jewish community and we hope ultimately they will contribute in some way. We continue to work with communal organisations and shules to engage the students.”
The main focal point for Y2i is about reaching out to more and more students, finding those who might be the only one in their school with a Jewish parent.
Jeremy says, “We have had some success with people who have become our advocates, using their contacts at different schools who will introduce us to more families.”
The vouchers offered by Y2i mean affordability is no longer an issue. This goes even further with the provision of additional means-tested assistance for those families in Non-Jewish Day Schools (the Jewish schools have their own assistance programs)who still struggle to pay the difference in the cost of the program.
On the other side, those families who can afford it, are actively being encouraged to give the vouchers back. This year $179,500 in vouchers were passed on to the programs to be able to provide additional help.
Parents are encouraged to register their children from Year 6 onwards, so Y2i can keep them updated about future activities. Those who will be in Year 10 in 2018 should make sure their name is on the list, so they can find out about information nights planned for early in the new year.
Click here to register.
Youth 2 Israel is active on social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram where we have released exclusive videos. Keep an eye on both pages for the latest from the all the programs currently in Israel. Jeremy adds, “we hope it will also inspire the next group to participate.”
You can read more information about the achievements of the past year and what is planned moving forward in the 2017 Annual Report.
“This year we exceeded our own projections for the number of students going. Our aim is to increase it even further for the 2018 Year 10’s,” says Jeremy.
Encourage people you know to register their children, to be kept informed about future programs and to ensure they are aware they can access the $5,000 vouchers.