30 October 2014
Here are three ways to Make It Yours this week:
- Satisfy your craving for Jewish learning at ROUTES on Sunday, November 2 at American University.
- Meet and get to know some of the visiting Israelis during the Young Leadership’s Reverse Mifgash November 3-12.
- Attend the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly at the National Harbor from November 9-11.
In danger of getting lost in the ongoing debate of how to discuss Israel in the American Jewish community is the discussion between Israelis and American Jews.
Earlier this year, the Israel Democracy Institute conducted a survey of the Israeli Jewish public to better understand their views toward Diaspora Jewry. One key finding among many is that 81% of Israeli Jews are interested in knowing what’s happening with Jews in the Diaspora. The challenge: building on this interest and creating deeper understanding.
Each year, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington sends 200 young adults, ages 22-26, on Birthright Israel: DC Community Trips (this is in addition to many trips offered to local college students). On each of these trips, at least 7 Israelis participate with the DC cohort on the 10-day experience, gaining insight into the American Jewish experience. Nearly 7 years ago, one of the DC alumna approached The Federation with the idea to bring Israelis from her DC Community Trip to DC for a “Reverse Birthright” experience. Thus was born Reverse Mifgash (Hebrew for “encounter”).
This year, from November 3-12, we are hosting our 5th Reverse Mifgash experience, with 12 Israelis coming to DC for a ten-day trip-of-a-lifetime with an innovative itinerary planned by a dedicated committee of young Federation volunteers.
Chaired by Max Bluestein, Ariella Brodecki and Rachel Spellman, this year’s Reverse Mifgash will bring together hundreds in our community by engaging many unaffiliated young Jews. We build programming in partnership with Birthright alumni that inspires young leaders to take action, become involved and help lead our community.
The recent Pew Report suggests that the majority of Jewish American young adults do not feel a significant attachment to Israel. Other studies have shown that Israeli young adults have little understanding of Jewish life outside Israel. Our hope is to help “reverse” these trends through the facilitation of personal and group interactions during Reverse Mifgash.
The Federation is proud to have had Reverse Mifgash recently announced as one of 18 local Jewish organizations/programs recognized in this year’s Slingshot DC Guide, a collection of the area’s most innovative Jewish programs.
Come see for yourself. Join us at any of the following Reverse Mifgash programs open to the young adults in our community. Learn more and register.
- Tuesday, Nov 4: Mitzvah Hoppin’ and Election Night Viewing Party
- Thursday, Nov 6: Because the Middle East is Funny: A Comedy Night with Benji Lovitt
- Friday, Nov 7: Reverse Mifgash Shabbat at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
- Saturday, Nov 8: A Capital Balagan: A Night of Israeli Music
Jeff Finkelstein, 2012 Reverse Mifgash co-chair, said it best: “I participated on a DC Community Birthright Trip and witnessed the close connections created between my American peers and our Israeli counterparts. When I returned to DC, I took an active role as a Reverse Mifgash co-chair to ensure and strengthen these bonds. In addition to a fun and meaningful 10-day experience, the program also serves as an entry point for engagement and long-term involvement in the local community.”
Come, join us in the conversation!
Steven A. Rakitt, Chief Executive Officer