About Staff

Nesiya inspires young people from diverse backgrounds to enrich Jewish life for themselves and others. Nesiya programs bring North American and Israeli youth face to face with the richness and complexity of Jewish life – and with each other – through a unique model of experiential learning that combines community building, creative study, the arts, outdoor adventure, and community service. Every Nesiya program builds relationships and explores differences among diverse Jews in order to develop Jewish leaders and invigorate Jewish life.

How Can We Share a Holy Place?

Shalom Friends, This week's parsha has a familiar highlight--I hope you remember when we studied the text of Sulam Yaakov(Jacob's Ladder)--Holy Place during the last portion of the program, and around our visit to Jerusalem. Do you remember? Do you remember the discussion? What you might have felt? What was a "Holy Place" for you [...]

A Clarion Call for Jewish Unity

I have seen many who are committing themselves to support organizations that work with demographics that are more vulnerable like minorities, immigrants, refugees, GLBT, etc., as well as projects fighting gender discrimination and for the advancement of egalitarianism. This is valuable and important at this moment. There are many that feel that these strata of [...]

Loving Another and Not Letting Go

As we read the first stories about the sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau in this week's parsha, we are confronted with the important question about Isaac's seeming favortism towards Esau. Why would Isaac love and choose his son who is related to by the Tradition as a shady character at best, and at times [...]

Teaching Compassionate Righteousness to the Next Generation

In this week's parsha, we get an interest gift: a window into what Gd values. Last week we met Abraham as Gd called out to him to leave evertything and begin a new path. We don't know much about Abraham, yet are impressed by his willingness and eagerness to fulfill Gd's instructions, even when it [...]

A Timely Invitation for Loving-Kindness!

Shalom Friends, What a week. I think it is safe to say that it has been an emotionally draining year, and the results have caused extreme reactions on all sides. A significant portion of the US are deeply concerned and even frightened at this very moment, while another portion--often less heard, especially in the Jewish [...]

Learning to Walk as a Sign of Greatness!

  There is a long-standing argument in the Jewish Tradition, comparing the hero of this week's parsha (Noah) with the hero of next week's parsha (Abraham). Each has strengths and weaknesses, and it is an interesting debate. One pillar in the argument is in the opening verse to this week's reading (Genesis 6:9) when it [...]

Beginnings (and Endings–and why they can make a difference!)

Shabbat Shalom Friends! With the beginning of the new year, and the beginning of reading the Torah again for another year, I asked myself a simple question about how we tell stories, and how the beginning and the end frame the experience. I was struck in particular by different ways of reading the same story. [...]

Shana Tova! And Now to the Sukkah!

Friends, As we approach the holiday of Sukkot, after the High Holidays, the excitement and joy in the Holy Land is palpable. Nights are filled with the noise of families building their sukkot, and between the last few moments of school and work before the holiday, people are scurrying to purchase their lulav and etrog, [...]

Shabbat Shalom: Thoughts on Peace, Peres and parshat Nitzavim

“You are standing today, all of you, before Gd: your heads, your tribes, your elders and your officers--all the People of Israel: your small children, your women, and your convert who is in the midst of your camp, from the hewer of your wood, to the drawer of your water” (Deuteronomy 29:9-10) These are the [...]

Day 36: Closing Up Nesiya 2016

The time has finally come, and we are saying goodbye to Nesiya 2016 - we have had an amazing summer together, and today we have spent time saying our teary goodbyes, discussing what we will take home with us (emotionally, spiritually, mentally), and sharing final reflections with each other.   Please check out our final [...]