Lead the conversation about Israel as an idea, value and modern nation-state of the Jewish people.
IMPACT fellows will develop their passion for Israel through deeper understanding. By engaging multiple perspectives and challenging questions of identity, our program will empower fellows to lead productive communal discourse on Israel. Our educational vision is rooted in the following goals:
HOW IT WORKS
The IMPACT fellowship takes place entirely online. For Jewish learners affiliated with high schools, camps, youth groups, campus organizations and young adult leadership, our program is tailored to the needs of each cohort. Organized, facilitated and managed by our seasoned Israel educators, our program is based on four building blocks.
IMPACT fellows will have the opportunity to learn from experienced educators and expert guest speakers. In preparation for sessions, IMPACT fellows will be asked to prepare through traditional and non-traditional learning tools.
IMPACT fellows will debate and discuss collectively as a cohort, in breakout groups, and in 1-on-1 Hevrutot (pairs). These facilitated discussions are crucial to our learning process.
IMPACT fellows will work on a project to engage an authentic challenge they identify and find meaningful to explore. Consulting with mentors, projects will vary from fellow to fellow
IMPACT fellows will join an alumni network to strengthen connections and lead communal discourse. We’ll convene conferences in person and/or online to aid fellows in their shared goals.
Yossi Klein Halevi
Author, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor & Like Dreamers, Senior Fellow at Shalom Hartman Institute
Dr. Einat Wilf
Former Israeli Member of Knesset & Author
Col. (res) Miri Eisen
Former Israeli PM Spokeswoman, Middle East & Communications Expert, IDC
Director of Interfaces and Synergy, Jewish Agency for Israel
Haviv Retig Gur
Senior Analyst, Times of Israel
Benji Davis is a Jerusalem-based educator specializing in Israel education. He teaches the Challenging Israel Course to gap year students through Makom Israel, gives geopolitical lectures to 60+ Birthright-Israel groups a year, and leads seminars, tours and Shabbatons for many visiting groups to Israel. Benji grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he graduated from Milken Community High School, was active in Far West USY, and was a camper, counselor and unit head at Camp Ramah in California. Benji holds a BA in Middle East Studies & History, an MA in Jewish Education and is a doctoral student at the University of Haifa in the Faculty of Education, focusing his research on Israel education of Diaspora Jewry. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife Rachel and daughter Maia. Email: email@example.com
Liel Zahavi-Asa, Mentor in Residence
Liel was born in Berkeley, California. Her parents made Aliyah when she was six and raised her and her siblings in Israel. When Liel completed her national service, she moved to the States for college and got involved with Hillel, staffing Birthright trips, and being active in Israel education on campus. Liel spent three years working at Rutgers Hillel as the IACT Birthright Coordinator and then as The Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Life. Liel holds a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and has worked for many Jewish and Israel educational organizations such as; Birthright, Onward Israel, Pardes, and The ICenter. Liel is completing the Israeli tour guide course this fall and will be a licensed tour guide in 2021. She currently lives in Jerusalem, and when she’s not working as an Israel/Jewish educator she dreams of becoming a Broadway director. Email: Liel.firstname.lastname@example.org
For over thirty years, Alan has developed a specialty in teaching text and history, both formally and informally, combining classroom studies with inspiring field trips for Ramah Israel, Young Judaea Year Course, Tochnit Shalem, and more. He leads educational heritage tours to Poland and consults for numerous Israel education organizations. In addition, Alan co-hosts the Makom Israel Teacher's Lounge Podcast, which takes listeners behind the headlines to learn about Israeli politics, news and culture. As a life-long learner, Alan has a B.A. in Sociology and Judaic Studies, M.A. in Modern Jewish History, and Rabbinic Ordination. He lives in Nechusha, a Moshav in the Ellah Valley, with his wife and two kids. Email: AlanGo@jafi.org
Matthew Lipman has been working in Israel education for over 15 years. He has taught Judaic Studies at Jewish Day Schools in North America and led many innovative programs at those schools. He has written high-tech educational materials for U.S. public schools and the IDF and directed the multimedia development of an online Jewish day school. In addition to his teaching work at several gap year programs in Israel, he has trained Day School leaders in North America to create meaningful Israel education programs. Matthew has a B.A. in Politics and History from the University of Liverpool and holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University. He lives with his family in Modi’in. Email: MatthewL@jafi.org
Rajel Leghziel, Mexican by birth, Israeli by choice. lives in Jerusalem with her family. She has a BA and an MA in International Relations with a specialisation in Politics and Diplomacy. She has been working for more than a decade as an informal educator, promoting innovative programming about Israel, its politics and society. She has hosted groups and international delegations at the Knesset, discussing issues related to democracy, transparency and legislation. she is a member of the Jerusalem Press Club, an NGO which provides foreign press correspondents with objective and balanced sources about current events in Israel. Email: email@example.com
Michael Unterberg has been an educator for over 20 years. He was a founding member of the Torat Tzion Kollel movement, led the Jewish History department at Fuchs Mizrachi School, and was lead educator for Write on For Israel in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael helped develop the Makom Challenging Israel curriculum, using the Understanding by Design framework, and is the creator and host of Makom’s Israel Teachers Lounge podcast. Mike lectures on Israel and Zionism to Birthright groups and various visiting Israel Missions. Michael studied philosophy in and received smicha (Rabbinic Ordination) from Yeshiva University. Mike and his wife Dara live in Efrat and have five children, two grandchildren and a mini-Schnauzer. Email: Michaelu@jafi.org