Travel Deeper  



is the premier leadership and philanthropic program of JFNA. The program is designed for dedicated men and women, ages 30 to 45, from across the U.S. and Canada who are deeply committed to building a strong, vibrant future for the Jewish people. This past July JFFS had three members of the NextGen community, including two board members, attend the Mission to Israel.

“This was my first adventure to Israel. Prior to leaving, I had high expectations of the events that lay ahead. My experiences far exceeded my expectations. From religion & politics to culture & humanity, it is the most unique part of the world I have ever had the privilege to visit. My JFNA travels greatly enhanced my personal connection to this land and my people. The memories will last a lifetime and will encourage me to travel to the state of Israel regularly,” Perry Melnick.

On their first evening participants gathered for a welcome party at one of the hottest clubs in Jerusalem, Zappa, getting to know other fellow participants from across North America and enjoyed a night of dinner, drinks and dancing.

They also had the incredible opportunity to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum and memorial to the Shoah and hear from Holocaust scholar, Dr. Rachel Korazim on “Israeli Society and the Holocaust.” They lunched with The Jewish Agency’s Ethnic Cooks program, empowering Israeli women to take their passion for cooking and turn it into a business.

NextGen Board member Danielle Serbin had this to say, “My NYL trip to Israel was truly a life-changing experience.  It was incredibly enriching to visit Israel—the birthplace of my faith, culture, and much of my family—surrounded by young motivated leaders from across the United States.  I learned a great deal about Israeli current affairs, the challenges facing the young nation, and how we as Jewish Federation ambassadors can help.”

A trip to Israel would not be complete without a visit to the Kotel where everyone took part in a spirited Shecheyanu blessing to celebrate being together in Israel. They even had the chance to choose their own adventure one morning with unique opportunities from the Startup Nation Track where they met with Israeli entrepreneurs and gained inside access to the innovators of this Start Up Nation. Or there was the Inside the Newsroom Track, an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Israeli media and tour the studio of a popular news broadcast station. There was even a Taste of the IDF Track in which participants spent the morning with Aharai, a social educational organization that develops young leadership and promotes social involvement among youths from the projects, development towns, absorption centers, boarding schools and shelters.

“The NYL Mission provided an amazing framework to see the impact that JFNA and JFFS Orange County is having across the full spectrum of challenges facing Israel. SAHI and the incredible impact that it’s having on troubled youth was especially memorable. The quality of speakers and the insight they provided into the Israel and the current situation was invaluable.” Barry Grossman, NextGen Board member.

To find out more information about National Young Leadership Cabinet please visit their website,


Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works as the Coordinator of Outreach and Engagement for the NextGen Department at Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County. 

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