• The Heart of Onward Israel - 06/04/2017

    The beginning of summer in earnest here in Israel means that we are about to get into the heart of Onward Israel. More than 600 participants (a full third of our full slate of 1800 for the summer) will arrive this week- from Haifa to Jerusalem and of course in almost every corner of Tel Aviv. Our organizers are making their last minute arrangements to fix up the apartments, finalize internships (in particular for those who only confirmed their participation in the last month) and dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s on logistical and educational plans. Our Onward Israel staff will meet all of these groups this week- allowing us to get an up close look at our participants, their motivations, questions and aspirations. This is actually one of the more rewarding parts of my job- and I look forward each year to these opportunities. I also look forward to updating all of the Onward Israel network about how these programs are doing as the summer moves along.

    While this week is the start for so many programs, we do have 100 participants who are already in the midst of their summer internships- participants in programs that began in early to mid- May. These participants got together this past weekend at Neve Ilan for our the first Breakout Seminar of 2017- and had a chance to directly visit cutting edge Israeli social enterprises and get a sense of the wide range of the Israeli Mosaic. We are looking forward to more than fifteen additional seminars this summer as well as the all-Onward Israel Connections Day on July 27 in Jerusalem. As with all of our programs, we make sure to check in with each program mid-way in order to celebrate the successes but also to make the needed changes. I am happy to report that the Toronto and Montreal programs we have reviewed so far are going quite well indeed. We will do our best to keep up this promising start!

    Ilan Wagner

    President and CEO, Onward Israel