Does the teen Israel experience make a difference?  That is the key question asked and answered in this research article   It discusses the impact of a teen Israel experience on the subsequent Jewish identity and involvement of young Jews.

The article states how almost all young people that have participated in a Teen Israel Experience have expressed that they were satisfied with the experience. This is mostly because they enjoyed spending the summer with fellow peers, experiencing a positive Jewish trip while having fun. Furthermore many Jewish teens stated that the Israel trip was the most positive life experience they have ever had.

The article goes on to discuss how the Israel trip allows young students to experience Jewish themes rather than by learning about them in the classroom. This results in a development of positive Jewish attitudes and behaviours as opposed to a cognitive learning.

Finally, research indicates that there is a strong connection between these trips and subsequent Jewish Identity. The Israel Experience acts as a catalyst that helps move the young student ‘along a continuum.’

Read the full paper here.

Written by Barry Chazzan with Anna Koransky, this paper was written in 1997.