• For General Inquiries: To best reach us for general inquiries about our programs regarding participants in Israel, and to speed up our response time, please use email- as we are able to respond most quickly to email. Please contact us at inquiries@onwardisrael.org. Note, this account is generally monitored during normal business hours (Monday through Thursday from 9am – 5pm ET and Fridays from 9am – 1:30pmET, we are closed on Jewish and U.S. Federal Holidays). We can also be reached at 1-646-453-2016 during normal business hours on the east coast, Monday through Thursday from 9am – 5pm ET and Fridays from 9am – 1:30pmET. We thank you for your patience as we respond to everyone’s inquiries as quickly as possible.

    Emergency AFTER HOURS Phone Line: For emergent matters or emergencies related to Onward Israel participants currently in IsraelOur emergency phone lines are only for urgent issues regarding current participants on the ground in Israel after normal business hours (Monday through Thursday from 9am – 5pm ET and Fridays from 9am – 1:30pmET). While we appreciate that some matters are sensitive, we ask that you use this line with discretion for emergencies only (immediate/urgent medical issues of current participants, etc.). All other matters (including non-emergent medical, housing, internship, etc. issues) should be directed to program staff on the ground (participants will be given their contact information of their staff at the beginning of their program) who are best equipped to handle these issues. If you would like to speak to someone in the North American office for a non-emergency issue, please call the general inquiries line included above during normal business hours. Callers who reach the after-hours emergency line with what are deemed to be not urgent matters, will be directed to call the general inquiries line during normal business hours.

    Emergency After Hours Phone Line (for emergencies related to participants currently in Israel)1-718-551-3985

    I am happy for this new opportunity to communicate with you once again – now as part of our new Onward Israel newsletter, no longer a stand-alone update. I hope you enjoy this new format and through it, feel part of the vibrancy, excitement and passion of the Onward Israel experience for our more than 2,000 participants in 2017.

    To begin with, congratulations to all of our partners around the world and in Israel who worked so hard to make this our biggest summer ever-growing by more than 40% from last year’s previous record enrollment. Onward Israel is a mosaic of seventy programmatic options, offering opportunities for a broad range of interests and motivations. Each program stands on its own- offering a unique experience to its participants; together, combined with the motivating first experiences in Israel which provide the launching pad for the Onward Israel return visit, we are proud to make our contribution to increasing the Jewish vitality of University age students at the most critical years of identity formation.

    The macro potential of Onward Israel, in particular as it expands, is exciting. But as we launch our 2017 summer programs ( 76 participants have already arrived), I would like to focus for a moment on the micro level- on each unique participant we will meet over the next few months. We know that identity is a complex and fluid concept, a competition of compelling and competing opportunities and obligations and the compromises between them. It is on this playing field, that each participant will soon immerse herself in a new professional opportunity, new social relationships, new living challenges and the old/new interaction with the landscapes, people and issues of contemporary Israel. They will meet much which is comfortable and rewarding, but also much that is foreign and challenging: they will feel at home and abroad, detached and belonging, inspired and frustrated. They will often join together and often embark on their own divergent pursuits.

    The educational challenge of Onward Israel is to facilitate this dynamic while also guaranteeing the quality of the experience, the safety, well-being and security of the participants, and the smooth functioning of groups, work situations and educational activities. Our commitment is to enable a highly satisfying experience for each participant- an opportunity to grow personally and professionally and to deepen knowledge about, and engagement in, Israel and Jewish life. We are ready and excited to get going.

    As we set out on this latest chapter in our mutual work, I wish all of us a rewarding, engaging and inspiring summer. It will surely take us Onward!

    Ilan Wagner

    President and CEO, Onward Israel