CIE Engages Teens in Israeli Democracy

CIE Engages Teens in Israeli Democracy

Center for Israel Education to focus on Israel’s 75th anniversary.

Center for Israel Education president Ken Stein facilitates discussions with students during a recent teen program.
Center for Israel Education president Ken Stein facilitates discussions with students during a recent teen program.

How democracy operates in Israel as it nears its 75th birthday will be at the core of the Center for Israel Education’s next Teen Israel Leadership Institute.

“Israelis in the Streets — Democracy in Action” will be held on the Emory University campus in Atlanta from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, March 26. All fees are waived; a kosher lunch and snacks are included.

Teens will participate in interactive small group discussions with CIE president Ken Stein and other experts, including CIE’s Debbie Sasson, who leads project management and innovation for the center, and The Weber School’s Michal Ilai. Topics include how the Zionists created the State of Israel, democracy and politics, Israel in the media, and such current issues as the proposed judicial overhaul and street protests.

The program follows a teen institute held Feb. 12, when 30 students representing 12 high schools, nine Jewish summer camps, and eight youth movements delved into the roots of modern Zionism, antisemitism, and Israeli culture and diversity.

Sasson, who also oversees the Teen Israel Leadership Institute, said: “We’re proud of the teens that chose to spend their Sunday diving into complicated issues in order to deepen their understanding and connection to Israel. I was remarkably impressed with the level of questioning and curiosity expressed by the students. The diversity in the room added a unique element, and it was truly a pleasure to watch as teens made connections with each other throughout the program.”

TILI is a program of CIE, Emory’s Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, and Jewish National Fund-USA’s Boruchin Center. TILI connects high school students with content and context to build their individual capacities to explore, belong to and own Israel’s story. Fifteen- to 18-year-olds from all denominations and from public and private schools are encouraged to apply.

CIE is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to educating broadly about the State of Israel through documents and other primary sources. CIE’s teen programming is based on the belief that, regardless of politics, Israel education is vital for understanding the intrinsic place of Israel to Jewish and non-Jewish identities.

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