Jacksonville’s teen delegation heads to Israel for P2G summer exchange program
BY JILL ABEL
Israel Partnership Director
A group of four teens from Jacksonville will have the experience of a lifetime this summer as they are all participating in the Israel Partnership's Summer Teen Exchange Program. The local Jewish community is excited to have these young women representing Northeast Florida in Israel in late June. The foursome consists of Rose Blumenfeld, daughter of Cathy and Leslie Blumenfeld, Barbie Goldstein, daughter of Debbie and Kenneth Goldstein, Zoe Mail, daughter of Andrea and Steven Mail and Sydney Teitelbaum, daughter of Stephanie and Howard Teitelbaum. They will be joined by three other teens from throughout the southeast, including Richmond and Charlotte.
For two weeks, this delegation will be hosted in our sister city of Hadera and spend time with their host teens and families, traveling through Israel and learning more about the country, its people and our common heritage. This summer, the delegation will be chaperoned by Jill Abel, Israel Partnership Director here in Jacksonville and U.S. Consortium Coordinator for the Southeast cities in the Partnership. While in Israel, the delegation will hit the hot spots like the Western Wall, the Old City, Yad Vashem, Masada, the Dead Sea and sites in Haifa, but they will also learn what it is like to be a real Israeli.
These teens will celebrate Shabbat with their host families and participate in meaningful discussions around the dinner table. They will also meet some of their hosts’ friends and immerse themselves in the culture of real Israeli day-to-day life in places like shopping malls and grocery stores. Together with their host teens, they will perform community service acts in different locations across our Partnership region and they will learn how to come back to the United States and share the real story about life in Israel and its incredible people, along with the amazing places and the difficult struggles of this wonderful country. Upon their return to Jacksonville, some of the traveling teens and a few other local families will host their Israeli counterparts later on in the summer.