Leaders prepare for Israel tours

SEMINAR: Amy Restan, left, Ronni Gurwicz and Ilana Kaye outside the Givat Haviva Art Centre and Peace Gallery during their UJIAeadership training seminar

BRITISH and Irish youth leaders attended a UJIA-sponsored leadership seminar at the Givat Haviva Education Campus in Israel.

The students will be taking charge of the forthcoming Teen Tour for 16-year-olds, a programme most participated in themselves just a few years ago.

For the second half of their week-long leadership course, they worked with their Israeli counterparts and professional Israeli tour guides in preparing the teams that will be in charge of the 1,145 British youngsters from Ezra, Sinai, Tribe, BBYO, JLGB, AJY, Habonim-Dror, RSY, NOAM, Bnei Akiva and FZY movements.

Unlike most of those attending the seminar, Mancunian Ronni Gurwicz, the son of Rabbi Zvi Gurwicz and his wife Devora, recently completed a programme with the IDF and lives in Israel.

The 23-year-old will be with one of the teams accompanying 40 RSY teens and is hoping to develop a career within the framework of informal education.

Ilana Kaye, a 20-year-old Glaswegian studying criminology at Nottingham Trent University, the daughter of Sharon and Richard Kay, of Newton Mearns, will be taking charge of a JLGB group.

Dubliner Amy Restan, a 20-year-old medical student at Trinity College, Dublin, will be working with a BBYO group.

Amy is an active member of the Union of Jewish Students for the UK and Ireland and was a UJS delegate at the 2014 World Union of Jewish Students conference in Israel.

Israel Experience, a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency and one of the largest educational tour operators in the country, provided the logistics for the British-Israel preparatory course.

The educational content was prepared by UJIA staff in the UK, three of whom - Londoner Robin Moss, UJIA Israel Engagement, Glaswegian Anthony Ashworth-Steen, director of Informal Education and Israel Engagement, as well as Mancunian Cassie Matus, UJIA Israel Experience gap year co-ordinator - accompanied the students.

Noa Metuki was an Israeli guide eight years ago for Habonim-Dror before taking up her post as head of the British desk at Israel Experience, which is based at the Kiryat Moriah Centre for Education in Jerusalem.

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