Mosaic United is investing NIS 30 million in teen travel to Israel via its new partnership with RootOne.
Each year, thousands of American teens travel to Israel to experience its youth movements, summer camps and other organizations. Studies show that these trips have a tremendous impact on their participants. Teens who travel to Israel are said to have higher levels of Jewish engagement compared with those with similar backgrounds who did not.
“The Diaspora Affairs Ministry is proud to invest in young men and women from all over the Jewish world and give them the opportunity to come to Israel and learn from an early age about Zionism, Jewish heritage and culture hands-on,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai said.
“It is a formative educational experience that deepens the participants’ Jewish identities and has far-reaching implications for their further studies in schools and academic institutions around the world,” he said.
Mosaic United is a partnership between the Diaspora Affairs Ministry and global Jewry. It unites and equips organizations that strive to strengthen the connection of young Jews to their Jewish identities and Israel.
Mosaic United statements
“This partnership demonstrates the critical importance [of] Israeli places in the teen travel experience,” Mosaic United chairman Gary Torgow said. “Together with our partners at the Marcus Foundation, other philanthropic institutions and the Jewish Education Project, our three-year partnership stands to nearly double the number of under-engaged teens traveling from North America to Israel.”
The project’s steadily increasing number of participants is covered by the $3,000 vouchers that will subsidize the cost of trips. This year, RootOne and Mosaic United will bring 6,000 teens to Israel, thereby increasing participant numbers by 20%. In 2023, the project is expected to grow to 7,500 participants, and by 2024, participant numbers are projected to nearly double to 9,000.
The RootOne-Mosaic model for teen travel will prioritize pre-trip and post-trip engagement, as well as “mifgashim,” encounters with Israeli teens.
“This partnership demonstrates the critical importance Israel places on the teen travel experience.”Gary Torgow, Chairman of Mosaic United
“Pre- and post-trip engagement maximize the impact of an Israel trip,” said Elisheva Kupferman, chief strategy officer of Mosaic United. “Pre-trip engagement primes participants to engage in key concepts and themes, while mifgash and post-trip engagement facilitates integrating this immersive experience into participants’ identities and into their ongoing lives at home and beyond.”
On Sunday, 2,000 RootOne participants gathered for a celebration in Rishon Lezion.
“Even for me, who works with this program every day, [Sunday] night was a reminder that behind the numbers is a Jewish teen whose life has been transformed by a trip to Israel with their friends,” RootOne executive director Simon Amiel said.