Young Jewish innovators from 28 countries and recent olim from Ethiopia will spend Monday restoring the Jewish agency for Israel's Mevaseret Zion Absorption Center and the nearby bomb shelter and park.
The work is part of a yearlong program, the ROI (return on investment) Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators is the result of a partnership between Taglit-birthright Israel and the Center for Leadership Initiatives, which draws it's funding from US philanthropist Lynn Schusterman. This year's version has 120 participants, activists and innovators aged 22-34.
The program, which is in its third year, is based on investing in the young hopefuls of the Jewish people, according to Yonatan Gordis, executive director of the Center for Leadership Initiatives.
"Rather than looking at them and saying we are losing the next generation, we see a huge wave of entry and Jewish excitement," Gordis said. "Our goal is to make them as effective as possible in doing their work."
Participants are involved in skill sessions that range from technology to organization. The overall goal of the program is to further the innovators' education, sending them back to their countries ready and able to "get the traction needed to get a head start."
"In the way that we understand the Jewish identity, Israel is a central component of the program," Gordis said. Israel is place where participants can reflect on who they are and what shapes them.