Federation Brings a New Innovative Teen Program to Middlesex & Monmouth

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The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey brings Israel American Council’s Eitanim, the celebrated Israeli entrepreneurship-based training program for teens, to Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties. All area high school students can now participate in the immersive, innovative, project-based learning experience designed to develop leadership and life skills while strengthening participants’ Jewish identity and connection to Israel. 

With the help of mentors from the community, the Federation’s Eitanim group will empower teenagers to solve communal challenges while promoting a mindset of entrepreneurship, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration.

The Jewish Federation partnered with the Israeli American Council and Congregation Young Israel of East Brunswick to bring this successful program to teens in the heart of NJ. The first IAC Eitanim group in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties, open to students throughout the community, will start this winter at Congregation Young Israel of East Brunswick. 

Inbar Singal, the Jewish Federation’s Manager of Community Engagement sees Eitanim as part of the Federation’s efforts to introduce a variety of new and innovative educational programs to children and teens: “Our goal is to connect teens to the local and broader Jewish community. One of the ways we do that is by providing a variety of opportunities to learn, connect with other teens, volunteer, gain leadership experience, and connect with Israel. Eitanim is a very innovative program that connects teens to Israel while teaching them skills that will help them succeed in school, the workplace, relationships, the community, and more. This program compliments Federation’s scholarships for teens to travel to Israel, J-SERVE teen service day, and the Israel Teen Summit, which engaged 120 teens with Israel advocacy, culture, food and more.

This first group will be mentored by Yair Nezaria, CEO of Shira Esthetics, a skin care company began by his mother that – under his guidance – has become an international powerhouse of environmentally sensitive product development. The father of four, two of whom were instrumental in organizing the Federation’s Israel Teen Summit last fall, says he agreed to be involved in the inaugural Eitanim program because, “As a parent, I’ve learned that some struggle to connect their children to Israel and Judaism. Eitanim offers a creative way to have fun while learning to work on important projects that build pride in Israel and Jewish history and heritage.” 

He added, “The whole program encourages creative thinking,” which he credits with helping him build what had been his mother’s niche-market business into a thriving international phenomenon. 

According to Noa Raab, IAC’s regional director for NJ, “Eitanim helps teens develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills within the context of Jewish values. Each of the problems they are given aim to strengthen their Jewish identity and build their connection to Israel. Each segment ends with them presenting their projects, discussing their project development and their conclusions. So, participation also helps them polish presentation skills.”

For more information and registration please visit: https://jewishheartnj.org/eitanim

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