Sunday, January 6, 2013

Israel Experience to Operate OTZMA Program

We are excited to announce that the OTZMA Israel experience program will continue to offer young Jewish adults an opportunity to live in Israel, learn Hebrew and volunteer in small communities. Upon completion of this year’s program, JFNA will transfer ownership of OTZMA to the Israel Experience Educational Tourism Services Ltd., a subsidiary of The Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Israel Experience specializes in providing organized trips to Israel for teens, university students and adults from all over the globe. With a mandate to “facilitate and implement Jewish-Zionist experiential/ educational visits to Israel in order to strengthen Jewish identity among Jews – especially youth – living in communities outside of Israel,” we are confident that Israel Experience will maintain the mission and values that have made OTZMA a success for more than 26 years.
In determining the best new home for OTZMA, JFNA utilized a professional task force and advisory committee comprised of past and present OTZMA chairs. After a thorough process that included vetting and interviewing several organizations, JFNA selected Israel Experience based on its successful track record in both short- and long-term Israel experiences for young adults, its valuable relationship with Masa Israel Journey and Israel Teaching Fellows, and its financial stability. In addition, Israel Experience currently provides OTZMA with logistical services, thus is well-versed with its program.
While we expect many logistical details to be forthcoming, Israel Experience is committed to serving the proud community of OTZMA alumni. In the coming weeks, JFNA will contact each OTZMA alumnus requesting information and consent for future communication from Israel Experience.
Through OTZMA and its passionate volunteers and professionals, we are proud to have sent more than 1,400 Jewish young adults from nearly 100 communities in North America to Israel. We are excited to transition the program to Israel Experience, and know the organization will work towards developing young leaders around the Jewish community, and creating strong connections to Israel and the Jewish Federation world.


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