Founded in 2011 under the name Connecting Miles of Smiles, our educational program was met with great enthusiasm. As the organization grew and expanded its volunteer base, as well as the schools it serviced, a more concrete vision for the program emerged. In 2014, a new name was adopted to represent that vision: Israel Connect.
By connecting experienced adults with the younger generation, Israel Connect aims to improve the lives of the members of the community. The benefits of the program are many, but three specific goals that Israel Connect achieves stand out:
- The first of these is that Israel Connect offers Israeli youth long-term, personalized mentorship and academic support in reading and speaking English. This goal is of primary importance because of the doors that open for students who are proficient English-speakers. In Israel, access to postsecondary education hinges on English proficiency, as English comprehension comprises one third of the entry exam. Frequently, English instruction is only available to those in higher income brackets, and Israel Connect is working to reach students in other echelons of society.
- The second important goal for Israel Connect is to enhance the lives of its volunteers. By facilitating a weekly, meaningful interaction that is as fun as it is fulfilling, the program aims to give back to its volunteers as well! Volunteers are engaged and energized by the experience, knowing that their contributions will have far-reaching impacts.
- The third goal that is achieved through the program is that all parties involved become deeply connected to our shared Jewish heritage through learning, laughter and joy. Israel Connect is committed to celebrating our community’s storied past and exciting present – and connecting the generations as we do it!
This fall, Isreal Connect is introducing a completely new curriculum that better responds to the needs and interests of our members. Our team has created a relevant, dynamic, and visually appealing “Tour of Israel” curriculum that will surprise and engage learners at various levels. We are working hard to ensure that our program continues to grow and welcome new participants every year, while providing interesting, challenging, and thoughtful learning materials. Volunteers and students will explore the tastes, sights, and rich cultural history of Israel while learning vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation!