BBYO Passport: Int'l Leadership Seminar in Israel (ILSI)

Washington, DC

Overview

ILSI is an elite leadership program which combines educational touring, leadership learning, interactive and engaging seminars and meaningful community service. Come away with a fuller understanding of Jewish history and an appreciation for the complexity of modern Israel.

Experiencing Israel on a Deeper Level

ILSI covers all of the highlights of a first time experience in Israel that you would expect Jerusalem, Masada, the Dead Sea, the Negev Desert, the Galilee, the Golan, the Carmel Mountains, Haifa, and Tel Aviv. However, unlike traditional Israel tours, ILSI is also about connecting to Israel on a deeper level. Our travels tell the story of the Jewish People in Israel, using the sites as our classroom and stage. For additional context, ILSI participants interact with a variety of artists, religious figures, innovators, and leaders.

A Focus on Jewish Leadership Models

As a BBYO leadership experience, ILSI emphasizes the stories of Jewish leaders who have had key impacts on Jewish history through the ages figures like King David, Bar Kochba, Rabbi Yehuda NaNasi, Theodore Herzl, Hanna Senesh, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, and Yitzhak Rabin. Their stories shed greater light on our understanding of the past and can provide us with real models for leadership to inform our present and future.

Defining Contemporary Zionism

Although the ILSI curriculum covers the entire canvas of Jewish history in the Land of Israel, there is a special emphasis on exploring the richness and complexity of modern Israel. Our educators challenge participants with the big questions. What is the future direction of the Jewish State? How is Zionism relevant in the 21st century? How can we play a part in shaping it?

Learning with Jewish Teens Worldwide

One of the most special aspects of the ILSI experience is that it attracts Jewish teens from North America and from around the world. Past sessions have convened participants from Bulgaria, Turkey, France, and Israel. All together we form a single community learning, traveling, and bonding together in Israel. Each teen brings their own perspective, their own unique background, and their own way of relating to Israel. Together this diversity contributes to a truly enriching dynamic and an opportunity to live the Jewish value that we are all responsible for one another.

Small Group Learning

As an enrichment experience, ILSI is centered on small group learning. Although everyone travels together, one senior educator is attached to each cluster of 20-25 teens. This intimacy allows for a much richer educational experience. Moreover, as a BBYO members' experience, ILSI is staffed primarily by full time BBYO professionals and top BBYO advisors.

The Summer of a Lifetime in Israel

In addition to the enrichment, ILSI is also about the adventure and joy of spending a summer in Israel. Along the way, we raft down the Jordan River, spend the night in a Bedouin tent, hike down lush canyons on the Golan, relax on the Tel Aviv beachfront, explore colorful open-air markets, and experience contemporary Israeli theater. In other words, teens on ILSI return home with both a rich educational experience as well as lifelong memories from a summer in Israel.

The educational experience on ILSI is organized in partnership with the Department for Jewish Peoplehood at Oranim College.

Is ILSI Right For Me?

ILSI is designed with BBYO members in mind as a unique enrichment, touring, and leadership experience. Although most ILSI participants are BBYO members, ILSI is open to non-members who are seeking this type of experience as well as Jewish teens from around the world. ILSI is appropriate for teens who have never been to Israel as well as for those who are returning for a different perspective.

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