What is Y2i?
Y2i is Youth 2 Israel
Findings of the Gen08 Survey and the follow-up Touch Points Review highlighted a significant relationship between the development of a teenager’s Jewish identity and their participation in a structured Israel based educational program.
‘An organised Israel experience for teenagers with their peers in their high-school years is the greatest predictor of strong Jewish identity amongst young Jews who come from secular and less affiliated Jewish homes.’
There are almost 500 Jewish children born every year in NSW and ACT. Today, only 50% of these attend Jewish day schools for their high school education.
In 2013, 91 Moriah and Masada Year 10 students went on IST, a 5-6 week program in Israel. The NSW Board of Jewish Education sent 25 students from outside the Jewish day schools on Emet Israel – a similar program.
These programs cost approximately $9,000 for airfares and land costs. For many years, generous donors have supported these initiatives to make Israel programs accessible to students from lower-income families. Additional funding has been available via the Jewish Agency.
In 2014, to test the assumption that cost is a significant barrier to greater adoption, a donor family committed to making $500,000 available through Y2i to provide 100 non-means tested vouchers of $5,000 for any prospective applicant.
This resulted in 170 children joining programs in December 2014, 50% more than the preceding year. The most dramatic increase was from Emanuel School which sent its first group ever of 27 students.
It is envisaged that Y2i at maximum uptake will reach 375 students annually. To fund this would require a corpus of $37.5million, the largest fund-raising ever undertaken in the NSW Jewish community. The proceeds of this endowment will then lead to a $5,000 voucher to every Jewish Year 10 Student.
Traditionally September-October is set aside every year for a JCA backed communal wide capital appeal. In 2015, this Appeal will be to establish the Y2i endowment.
Y2i is backed not only by JCA, but by UIA and JNF as well as the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and ECAJ. All Jewish organisations, be they local or Israel focussed, recognise that without engendering a love for Judaism and Israel in our teenagers, we will not have a community in the future.