israel.cleveland.next is a one-year program with a second year fellowship that educates Cleveland’s Jewish high school students from all denominations in the core issues of Israeli society and the geopolitical situation in Israel today.
The program originally began as Write on For Israel (wofi) (2008–2013) and merged with the Ambassadors for Unity program in 2014 to become icnext. The primary changes to the program in 2014 included the addition of a Mifgash host-exchange with Israeli teens from Cleveland’s partnership region of Beit Shean, and opportunities for participants to learn about Israel from shinshinim.. Today, the icnext programs includes three parts:
1. Participants attend eight Sunday seminars (10am-5pm), once a month
2. Learn Core Israel subjects: Zionism, history and current issues of Israeli society and culture.
3. Sharpen writing and journalistic skills – through monthly written assignments
4. Study important Israel advocacy issues
5. Mifgash (encounter with Israelis) with teen group from the Beit Shean/Emek HaMayanot region for one week (early spring)
A middle of June is the 10-day Israel learning and research mission that focuses on learning the geopolitical issues Israel is facing, and exploring contemporary Israeli society and culture. The mission also includes a second Weekend Mifgash with the Israelis teens from Beit Shean/Emek HaMayanot. During the course of the trip participants document their experiences through blogging and photojournalism.
Fellowship (Second Year Projects)
1. Attending 6 hours of icnext guest speakers or other special presentation.
2. ic.news – A Publication of 5, 2-page inserts in the Cleveland Jewish News that will include blogs from the Israel trip, and reach their entire readership
3. Organize and participate in an exhibit of the group’s Israel photos
4. Israel Advocacy related’s Dvar Torah project
5. Israel Update Project – keeping members of the group informed of current events in Israel
6. Helping Jisr Az-Zarqa Youth Department project (Fundraising Project)
7. A Stand With Us Fellow
8. Teen Leadership Council (A Stand With Us style group)
israel.cleveland.next applications are open to current high-school freshmen and sophomores in the Cleveland area with a strong interest in Israel.
israel.cleveland.next – also known as icnext — is a two-year program that educates Cleveland Jewish high school students from all denominations in the core issues of Israeli society and the geopolitical situation in Israel today.
Students also learn and engage with Israeli peers from Cleveland’s sister community of Beit She’an and the Valley of the Springs (Emek HaMayanot). This region in the North of Israel is home to many activities supported and coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
The first year of icnext (formerly known as AFU/WOFI) involves interactive educational programming and a visit to Cleveland by teens from the Beit She’an region, and culminates in a 10-day Israel exploratory mission. The mission gives participants the opportunity to explore the realities of life in Israel and spend time learning and experiencing with their Israeli counterparts.
In the second year, students initiate, organize and galvanize peer involvement in educational, political or cultural activities designed to build awareness about Israel and support for the Jewish State.