(lubavitch.com) Nearly one thousand Jewish teenagers worldwide completed the latest JLI Teens course, Israel 3-D: A journey though time, space, and beyond. Israel 3-D’s impact on the secular Jewish high school students who participated was immediate. After the first class students reported that they felt empowered to confidently advocate for Israel in the face of de-legitimization, media bias, and anti-Semitism.
Israel 3-D was developed to inspire a deep appreciation among typically apathetic teens for their national history and Jewish identity. It inspired them to actively engage in passionate, intelligent discourse about the land of Israel, both in the classroom and in the real world.
Israel 3-D, like all JLI Teens offerings, is based on the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s model of developing relevant courses built on solid Jewish academics and made available to hundreds of communities around the world. The courses are developed by experts in the fields of Torah, education, and psychology. A comprehensive teacher’s manual and classroom activities assure consistent, simultaneous delivery. The classroom experience is conducted by round-table discussions, including multi-media presentations, group activities that invite students to participate and form their own opinions, and a social component designed to help students meet other local Jewish youth.
Recognizing that youth education is perhaps the number one priority in ensuring Jewish continuity, Jewish community leaders are focusing on their teen population by developing teen sub-communities in their areas. This year, JLI Teens has crossed all Jewish denominations, creating chapters that partner with local JCC’s, BBYO’s, and Federation Chapters to impact and reach the maximum number of teens. According to JLI Teens Director Rabbi Benny Rapoport, “our programs appeal to Jewish high school students regardless of affiliation and previous background knowledge, bridging denominations and traditionally segmented communities.”
At the core of JLI, he explains, lies the vision of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who taught that youth possess a unique energy and passion that, if harnessed productively, can add a new level of excitement and vibrancy to Jewish life both in and out of the home. The latest JLI Teens course is called OMG! A Battle Between Faith and Logic and will launch in March 2011 in 45 cities around the world.