The Nesiya Approach to Working with Client Organizations

The following outlines the kinds of programs which Nesiya offers to client organizations, and provides background on Nesiya educational goals and the kinds of experiences and opportunities that a Nesiya program offers.

The purpose of the Nesiya model of Jewish and Israel experiential education is to inspire young people to explore the personal relevance of Judaism and Israel and to contribute to the growth of others. Nesiya programs are designed to provide Jewish young people with an inspirational program in Israel that enhances their Judaic learning and leadership skills, broadens their knowledge of contemporary Israel, and engages them in developing projects that are directed toward both self-enrichment and giving to others. Nesiya programs also place a strong emphasis on building a caring community among the participants, which can have a positive and lasting impact on their communities back home.

Nesiya programs for client organizations usually include similar elements as the SUMMER PROGRAM.

Harvard Hillel

For several years Nesiya, in partnership with Harvard Hillel, conducted an intensive 15-day educational seminar in Israel for a select group of undergraduate student leaders from Harvard, together with a cohort of Israeli peers recruited by Nesiya. The program enabled students to confront the political challenges facing the Jewish people, to strengthen their identification with the people of Israel, and to link this identification with their own personal Jewish identity.  This seminar was part of the Netivot Israel Leadership Initiative, a comprehensive program to inspire and enable student leaders to understand, appreciate, and support Israel on the college campus.

Yale Hillel

Nesiya worked with Yale Hillel to conduct programs in Israel for Yale undergraduates and a cohort of Israeli peers recruited by Nesiya.  Using the study of classic texts, group experiences, and focused visits to places and individuals, the program explored the great issues and challenges facing the Jewish people today: identity, coexistence, war, ultimate meaning, and cultural creativity. The Israel program was part of a year-long Netivot Fellowship, a group that came together to pursue these themes in off-campus retreats and on-campus educational programs during the course of the academic year.

Shoshanah S. Cardin School – Baltimore

Nesiya has worked with the Shoshanah Cardin School in Baltimore to conduct “Halikha BaAretz”, a 4-week program in Israel for the school’s junior and senior classes.

Programs for Lay Leaders and Families

Nesiya has also conducted unique experiential learning programs in Israel for children, adults, and families. Programs range in length from a few days to a number of weeks, and are designed in conjunction with the family or group in order to address their particular interests and needs.

Wexner Heritage Summer Institute

Nesiya has conducted several 2-day seminars in the desert entitled “The Desert in Judaism and Zionism” for lay leaders participating in the Wexner Heritage Summer Institute.

Jewish High Schools

Nesiya works with Jewish community high schools and youth organizations in North America to design and implement Israel programs for their student communities. Nesiya also offers the option of conducting a series of retreat programs on-site at the school or organization, both preceding the program and as follow-up experiences.

Nesiya has worked with Gann Academy in Boston (including its week-long program in Eastern Europe), the Shoshanah S. Cardin School in Baltimore, the Pardes School in Cleveland, the Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, and the Jewish Academy of Metro Detroit.

Northwestern University Hillel – Chicago

Thirteen Northwestern University students came to Israel to participate in The Hartman Institute’s iEngage Student Seminar to deeply explore the complexity of Israel with approximately 80 other students from 6 other universities.

The Northwestern University cohort participated in a pilot program with Nesiya as preparation for the Hartman program. The pilot seminar was a successful partnership between Northwestern University Hillel and the Nesiya Institute, designing a shortened version of Nesiya’s 30-year-old flagship summer program to suit the particular needs of the Northwestern University Hillel group.

The seminar was primarily a journey to the Negev desert. The goal was to explore Jewish identity, community building and creative expression as preparation for an intense week of study in Jerusalem with the Hartman Institute’s iEngage program. The Negev portion of the seminar included creative text-study, a full day of desert hiking with study activities in Makhtesh Ramon, a creative writing workshop, Shabbat celebrations and a visit to Ben Gurion’s grave in Sde Boker. The last afternoon of the 5-day seminar was spent touring early Tel Aviv and exploring the transition from the desert into civilization.

The students were deeply touched by the opportunity to share honestly and openly with each other in the Nesiya framework. They were much more present with themselves and each other than they had been during their preparatory sessions last fall on campus, and Nesiya’s careful programming built a safe environment for them to take risks, get to know each other more deeply, and ultimately be much better students in the subsequent week at Hartman.