Comments about the CIE/ISMI Teen Israel Leadership Institute 

From teens:

“I just would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to create this amazing opportunity! The best parts of the program were the wide variety of options, the open discussions, and the knowledgeable educators.” Mary M., Mt Pleasant, SC, December 2019

“This trip benefitted me as well as my peers in two ways.  First, it allowed us to study more about the complexities of Israel and other parts of the region in a structured and educational environment…Second, it allowed us to get a feel for an amazing campus and the Jewish life within.  There was never a dull moment over the weekend, which cannot be said for many educational seminars.  It was expertly run, and given the chance, I would love to return and take part in a similar program next year.” Spencer K., Cleveland, OH, December 2019

“I learned so much this weekend. All the presenters were so knowledgeable. I loved how all the interactions were so interactive. I had such a great experience. I plan on teaching kids on public school about Israel. Most of where no Jews get their information is from media which is often very bias. I want to teach them the unbiased information that I learned from the sessions” Rebecca W., Allentown, PA, December 2019

“I really appreciated the chance to connect with other Jewish teens from all over the country, and to be able to hear firsthand from them how their lives connect to Israel.  The combination of those interactions between myself and the other students, and the in-depth learning that was provided by the program led me to an amazing immersive weekend.  I especially appreciated the aspects of Israel that are not political.  It’s easy to get caught up in the politics of Israel today, so the opportunity to study other cultural components of the country through things like hummus and hip hop was incredible and refreshing.” Jessica C.,  Detroit, MI, October 2018

“While I was at the conference, I had an amazing time and had a chance to learn hands-on ways to bring Israel into our school. I am really excited moving forward to do some programs that I know kids will like and learn from.” Ilan W., Detroit, MI, October 2018

“Thank you so much for this wonderful conference opportunity, and I hope you will continue to offer this to as many interested students as possible. I look forward to participating in all future programming if you will please include me among those who wish to keep learning, studying and supporting Israel.” Lilah P., Atlanta, GA, October 2018

“In the course of one weekend, I was able to learn new information and develop deeper questions about Israel, while also forming lasting relationships with others on the program.” Molly V., New York, NY, October 2018

“I decided to come and try something new. I didn’t really know what to expect out of it, but Im glad I attended. I learned so much about Israel and some of the controversies that still apply today. I learned alongside amazing people from all over the United States and by an amazing group of staff. All of the people I met there were sweet, kind, enthusiastic, and ready to learn and interact. I loved getting to meet new Jewish teens who have the same love for Israel as I do. We all learned how to create an effective program through a fun activity. The ways that we were taught were always interactive and I was never bored. I mean it.” Meshi B., Irvine, CA, October 2018

“It was a really great experience and I learned a lot about Israel, and had time to think about what I want for this state both as a Jew and Zionist. Connecting with Jews that live miles away from me was really a once in a life time experience that I do not take for granted. Once again, thank you very much for this opportunity , I had a great time.” Noa L., New York, NY, October 2018 

“My expectations for the program were blown away and I am more than satisfied with my experience. As a participant in the first ever institute for teens, I feel that it was very well-organized well-executed. The program has given me a new perspective on Israel and I will carry it with me for the rest of my life. I am looking forward to using the resources that CIE provides to create engaging and educational activities for students at my synagogue’s religious school as well as integrating more advanced topics into the Israel curriculum.”  Brandon M., Boca Raton, FL, April 2018

“I loved this program and I’m so excited to share my new knowledge with the kids at my school!” Naomi A., Houston, TX, April 2018

My favorite parts of the program were meeting kids with the same love of Israel as me. Learning history about Israel and having Shabbat services with the Emory students.” Parker S., Longwood, FL, April 2018

“I am running for Regional Israel Affairs Vice President for the Mizrach USY region and I am going to use the program ideas you gave us and the resources you told us about in order to plan programs and events for the teens in USY.” Rebecca R., Cherry Hill, NJ, April 2018

“Thank you very much for sponsoring the Teen Israel Leadership Institute.  I had an amazing weekend. I learned about Israel and made new friends from all over the country who I plan on keeping in touch with.  I enjoyed the service at Emory Hillel and really liked participating in group discussions. Thank you so much for making this opportunity possible for me.” Sofia H., Merion Station, PA, April 2018

From parents:

“I wanted to thank you for leading the program last weekend. My son truly enjoyed the experience. He said it was one of the best Jewish/Israel leadership programs he has attended—and he has attended many. (He also enjoyed visiting Emory, which he now wants to apply to for college next year.) Thanks again for all your hard work in putting together this very special teen program.” Tina F., Philadelphia, PA, December 2019

“(Our son) truly enjoyed the CIE Leadership Retreat at Emory last weekend. The lectures all sounded so interesting; he had a hard time choosing which to attend. Teaching our youth about Israel, Judaism, and who we are is imperative to our future. I am grateful my son and some of his peers have such strong Jewish identities and souls that passionately lead them to be Jewish and Israel advocates. Through opportunities like this, they acquire the tools necessary to proudly and correctly educate others.” Lee and Gary S., Alpharetta, GA, December 2019

“When we say that if a teenager has no complaints about something, then that equals a success! Our son learned so much and also loved experiencing Shabbat at Emory’s Hillel. He now wants to include Emory on his list of universities to visit!  Please keep him in mind for any future learning opportunities. This weekend sparked a big interest in him to continue learning more about Israel.” Debbie J., Atlanta, GA, October 2018

“Programs for our youth that encourage civic and intellectual engagement based on knowing facts and being informed are greatly important at this time when truth is under assault in our country. We appreciate your support that allowed our daughter and others to come together and build a community of common values.    Finally, we found it especially comforting to know that Jewish pride in and support of the Jewish state, Israel, was being nurtured and fostered even at the moment Jews were being attacked in Pittsburgh.  It keeps hope alive for a brighter, more peaceful future being built through our dynamic young people.” Erin M. Fort Lee, NJ, October 2018  

“I’d to thank you for the wonderful weekend that Ben enjoyed.  He learned so much and met some great teens. I’m so glad that he was part of this program.” Molli R., Miami, FL, April 2018

“Thanks to you, CIE, Emory, and the anonymous foundation for providing this wonderful opportunity for our children!  Josie said that the program was amazing and she absolutely loved participating.  The smiles on the faces of the students in this photograph says it all.  We are very grateful that Josie was able to participate!!!”  Carolyn S., Potomac, MD, April 2018

“Thank you for giving Gavi an incredible weekend.  He really enjoyed the conference.  He asked when the next time he could go away was because he felt he learned more at your Seminar than he does at school.” Deborah K, Los Angeles, CA, April 2018

Comments from other CIE Teen programs:

“I thought your presentation (on Zionism) was amazing and I learned so much from it.” Shane G, Ocala, FL (2018)

“I cannot thank you so enough for leading a program at Kallah this past weekend. As someone who knew essentially nothing before your program, I feel that I would now be able to participate in an educated conversation about Israeli politics. I think it is a subject that is difficult to grasp, and as a result, it is often overlooked when programming. You did an amazing job of laying out the basics. Thank you for your expertise and guidance this weekend.” Jordan L, Atlanta Council Shaliach, March (2015)

“Great session! Active. I learned a lot.” Mike G., Atlanta Council BBYO, Atlanta (2015)

“I am an Israeli who works with US youth. I thought the program was excellent and gave the kids a great insight (given the time constraints) into the issues affecting Israel besides the Arab-Israeli conflict. Great Job!” David S., NFTY International Convention, Atlanta (2015)

“Never done a program like this, (I) learned a lot more in a shorter time than most Israel programming I’ve done.” Jacob F., NFTY International Convention, Atlanta (2015)

“(This session gave) the students the necessary tools to be informed and objective consumers of Israel-related news and media coverage.” Rabbi Ilan S., Shomrei Torah Synagogue, Los Angeles (2014)