• The Results Are In - 07/17/2019

    by Ilan Wagner

    Now that the dust has settled (until the next Hamsin that is…), I can offer an overall assessment of Onward Israel Summer 2019, our biggest year ever (until now at least). 6300 young people applied for an Onward Israel program in 2019, up 9% from 2018, resulting in 2811 participants, a growth of 12% from last year. This marks the seventh year in a row that we have experienced double digit growth in participants.  In 2019, we reached 94% of our  target of 3000 participants, and implemented 100 programs- 89 of them in the summer. Of course numbers tell only part of the story. More important are the comments and feedback that we hear from Onward Israel participants. Here are a few testimonials from participants on the ground this summer:

    “I love every bit of this experience. (in the mornings hahah) I love the commute. I love this city, I love the Florentine area, I love the art, the people, the honesty, the diversity, my spirituality while I’m here. I am never going to want to leave. My internship is incredible. My co-intern and I get along so well and she is really into Data science so I even learn from her too. The people in the office are brilliant!”

    “I’m really enjoying myself. I find real meaning in my work. Right now I’m helping my organization, Latet, run an emergency fundraiser for their program that supports impoverished Holocaust survivors and watching the live tracker tick over past our expected mark was really an incredible moment. Then and there, I knew we could now serve another 80 survivors and get them the eyeglasses, dental care, and other necessities they needed.
    My work is also, very thankfully, enrichening the set of skills that I’ll end up leaving Israel with.”

    “I have spent my time here trying to see as much as I can because I don’t know when I will have another chance to be in Tel Aviv in the near future. Other than daily beach trips and sunset views, I have visited museums, markets, and parks. I’ve tried 6 shekel falafel and 80 shekel noodles. I have explored new parts of town and I have stayed home bonding with my new friends. Being in a new city allows you to open your mind to a culture that is different from your own, embrace new tastes and smells, and learn a new language.”