Thanks to additional funding from the Levenson Exchange and Advocacy Program, the 2018 Sarasota-Manatee teen ambassadors will participate in a full, two-week program with their counterparts in Tel Mond, Israel.
Applications for eligible students will be accepted through November 16.
(Sarasota-Manatee) Over the past 10 years, more than 150 area high school juniors and seniors were given the opportunity to visit Israel as participants of the Bob Malkin Young Ambassador (BMYA) program, a Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee initiative. Now, thanks to a generous gift from Sarasota-based philanthropists Bart and Joan Levenson, the Levenson Exchange and Advocacy Program (LEAP) will further enhance the BMYA experience.
According to Andrea Eiffert, the coordinator for the Federation’s BMYA program, LEAP’s additional funding will pay for a BMYA coordinator in Tel Mond, Israel, and cover the costs of an educator here to teach area students beginning Hebrew. “We’re expanding the BMYA program to include interactive educational sessions for Israeli and area teens,” she says. “Students from both parts of the world will learn about each other’s culture and language—and also interreact via Skype.”
Eiffert explains that Sarasota-Manatee Young Ambassadors will travel to Israel for two weeks this summer to meet the Tel Mond Young Ambassadors. The American teens will experience Israel alongside their Israeli counterparts, including visiting holy sites, celebrating Shabbat, and exploring the country. To complete the cycle, in 2019, Tel Mond Young Ambassadors will visit Sarasota to experience life in the Sarasota-Manatee region.
“LEAP is a giant step in experiential learning and the possibilities are boundless,” says Eiffert. “We’re honored that the Levensons recognize the importance of the Bob Malkin Young Ambassador program. With their generous gift, we’re ensured the program will continue to strengthen bonds of friendship between Sarasota-Manatee teens and their counterparts in Israel.” She adds that the BMYA program continues to be funded through the generosity of Federation donors.
Eligible students should identify as Jewish, reside in Sarasota or Manatee counties and currently be in grades 10 or 11. Applications are being accepted online at jfedsrq.org/bmya through November 16. For more information, contact Andrea Eiffert at 941-552-6308 or Aeiffert@jfedsrq.org.
For more information about The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.
About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Jewish life and identity in the Sarasota-Manatee community, provide for Jewish people in need, and to promote support for Israel. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.