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Serving a Complex Israel: A report on Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning

Posted by: on Jan 28, 2013 | Leave a comment
A participant on Ma'ase Olam, one of the twelve Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning programs that participated in the study.
A participant on Ma'ase Olam, one of the twelve Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning programs that participated in the study.

Repair the World, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency for Israel, is pleased to announce the release of a new study, “Serving a Complex Israel: A report on Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning.” The study shows that contrary to common assumptions held in the Jewish world, exposing young Jews to the complex issues underlying Israeli society increases their commitment to the country and motivates them to want to work towards social change in Israel.

“When it comes to developing service programs, authenticity is key,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “The more people understand about their service, the more committed they will be to it. What’s more, we know that young people—particularly those from affiliated households—become more passionate when their service brings a connection to their own personal heritage. We hope these insights will spur collaboration among providers and funders in Israel to build content and positive experiences for those motivated to volunteer.”

In particular the study shows that as a result of participating in IJSL programs:

  • 96% of respondents gained a more nuanced understanding of Israel;
  • 79% felt more connected to their Jewish heritage and identity;
  • 78% more connected to global Jewry;
  • 85% want to learn more about Israel; and
  • 85% of respondents reported that their conversations about social justice have increased.

The study, conducted by Rosov Consulting, LLC and funded in part by the Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation, surveyed 332 young Jewish adults who participated in at least one of 12 different IJSL programs in Israel from August 2009 to June 2012. Responses showed that there is a widespread desire among millennial Jewish adults to create change in the world, while simultaneously growing as leaders and connecting to Jewish life. IJSL programs in Israel provide young adults with that opportunity.

Click here for the executive summary and click here to access the full report.