People to People

Diller Teen Fellowship
CSUQ Bar Mitzvah Project
Taglit-Birthright Israel
March of the Living
Gesher Chai Living Bridge
Kolenu
Dorot
Kefiada

Diller Teen Fellowship

Photo : Diller

Photo : Diller

“Thank you for teaching them patience, understanding and respect for each other. Thank you for teaching them to appreciate what they have. Thank you for showing them friendship, the path to leadership and Jewish identity. Thank you for showing them how to care, to be kind and helpful to others, and for watching over them and keeping them safe.” – Parent of a Diller Teen

Diller is an international initiative to promote Jewish teen leadership focusing on Israel education, leadership training, community service, Jewish ethics and identity-building.


CSUQ Bar Mitzvah Project

Photo : CSUQ

Photo : CSUQ

“I am the third child in a family of eight kids. We came to Israel from Brazil and live in an absorption centre in Beer Sheva. My parents have trouble with Hebrew and can’t find work. Thanks to the Bar Mitzvah program, for the very first time, we were able to visit Jerusalem and the Kotel as a family, and all take part in this celebration.”

The Bar Mitzvah Project is the high point of an annual solidarity mission from Montreal that takes 50 disadvantaged youth and their families from Beer Sheva and Bnei Shimon to Jerusalem to take part in their own Bar Mitzvah celebrations.


Taglit-Birthright Israel

Photo : BIEC

Photo : BIEC

“It is difficult to talk about my Birthright experience without discussing the mifgash in which eight Israelis joined my taglit group for five days. We were told to bring some gifts to exchange so naturally I gathered anything and everything with maple leaves, beavers and the like. I couldn’t have imagined how insufficient these gifts would be as tokens of the friendships I formed. A new dimension was added to my Birthright experience by connecting me to Israel through the people themselves. Two months after my trip, I find myself allotting time to Skype at bizarre hours to keep in touch with my Israeli friends on the other side of the world. The mifgash was the clear highlight of my trip, and has allowed me to keep Israel with me through my friendships in a way no souvenir possibly could.”

Since its beginning, over 5,500 young Montrealers have developed a love of Israel and of the Jewish people thanks to Birthright.


March of the Living

Photo : BIEC

Photo : BIEC

“As a Jewish teenager attending a public high school before the March of the Living, I did not have the same daily connection to Jewish life as many of the others on the March of the Living. But six months following the March, I still feel its impact. The memories I have, the horrors I witnessed, and the conversations I shared, are still vivid to this day.”

The annual March of the Living is an educational journey that delves into the tragic past of the Jewish people in Poland and rejoices in the Jewish present and future in Israel.

Follow this year’s March of the Living at www.federationcja.org/mol


Gesher Chai Living Bridge

Photo : JAFI

Photo : JAFI

“This week something unbelievable happened as I tuned in with all my heart to a passage in the Shmoneh Esrei, …”He gathers in his nation of Israel”. Our stay in Montreal led us to truly understand what our ancient scholars were talking about. We got to know some amazing people, who we will stay in touch with forever. We discovered the abounding love our friends in Canada have for every scrap of cloth or piece of wood whose origin is from the Holy Land. And we discovered ourselves – realizing that we are prouder now and love Israel more than ever before.” – Israeli student after visit to Montreal.

Our Living Bridge program is at the centre of what the Montreal – Beer Sheva – Bnei Shimon partnership represents, creating personal relationships among the young people of Montreal and Israel through education, direct dialogue, personal visits and exchanges.


Kolenu

Photo : UIAFC

Photo : UIAFC

“We as Jews have inherited a tremendous legacy, which is the source of justifiable pride for all of us. We also face challenges in the coming years, however, as to how that legacy will be sustained in the next generation. The emerging generation of young Jewish leaders will ultimately determine what the future of the Jewish people looks like.”

These were the opening words of greeting to the Kolenu participants, a group of dedicated young leaders and professionals from all over the Jewish world, who came together for a conference in January 2011 to take on this challenge and determine a common future together.


Dorot

Photo : BIEC

Photo : BIEC

“When our group met up with the kids from Beer Sheva, I formed new friendships that differed from the ones I had at home. It was so weird to think that we lived on opposite sides of the world, and we still had so much in common. But also, when we talked, it was fun to compare the cultural differences between Israel and here. It really allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation for my home as I toured around theirs. And when I got home and logged onto Facebook, I saw that I had friend requests from these Israelis, and it was very strange to think that I had friends that were so many miles away from me.”

Dorot is a community-based summer trip where Montreal grade 9 students participate in an intensive five-week program in Israel.


Kefiada

Photo : UIAFC

Photo : UIAFC

“Before we arrived in Israel, we were told that on one of the Shabbat weekends, we’d have to sleep at the houses of our new friends, We didn’t want to. It didn’t really seem relevant-let everyone sleep in their own place, the Israelis in their homes and us in our hotel rooms. We didn’t at all want to sleep somewhere where you had to meet the family and parents of people you hardly knew. But after the first two meetings, we realized just how special these people were for us, and from then on we didn’t want to separate from them. All of a sudden we wanted to know everything about them – about life in Israel, army service, how they spend their time, music they like to listen to, what they like to eat.”

Kefiada brings young adults aged 18 to 24 to our partnership region to volunteer and build lasting relationships with their peers.