From teens:

CIE May 15, 2022 TILI Latin Teen Testimonials 

Mathias B., Nuestros Héroes de la Guerra del Pacífico, La Libertad, Perú– 

“Sin lugar a duda, la ponencia de “Israeli Identity and Society through Pop Culture” por el doctor Eli Sperling fue mi sesión preferida. Realmente su forma de exponer y hacernos conocer un poco más de Israel es lo que motivó a seguir aprendiendo un poco más incluso fuera del aula. También datos sumamente importantes sobre la cultura y la identidad verdadera de Israel. Siento en general que aprendí un montón en esta sesión. Realmente me hubiese encantado tener una sesión para aprender un poco de Hebreo, y las otras ponencias estuvieron geniales en general. Israel, a pesar de haber sido juzgado, discriminado y algunas veces rechazado por la sociedad mundial, tiene un montón por ofrecer, una historia sumamente trascendente y una cultura con mucho por descubrir. Realmente la cultura Hebrea es sin duda un tesoro del cual debemos estar más informados. Siendo todo ello, agradezco infinitamente por aceptarme en el programa y espero que puedan existir más ediciones.”

“Without a doubt, the lecture on “Israeli Identity and Society through Pop Culture” by Dr. Eli Sperling was my favorite session. Really, his way of presenting and letting us know a little more about Israel is what motivated us to continue learning a little more even outside the classroom. Overall I feel like I learned a lot in this session. I really would have loved to have a session to learn a bit of Hebrew, and the other talks were great overall. Israel, despite having been judged, discriminated against and sometimes rejected by world society, has a lot to offer, a highly transcendent history and a culture with much to discover. Really, the Hebrew culture is without a doubt a treasure of which we must be more informed. Being all this, I am infinitely grateful for accepting me in the program and I hope that there may be more editions.”  May 15, 2022

Ricardo B., Colegio Theodoro Hertzl, Medellín, Colombia-

“Mi charla favorita fue la que tuvimos con los rabinos ya que pude ver el choque cultural tan bonito y marcado que hay entre gente de diferentes culturas viviendo en un mismo entorno. La variación de temas, personas, idiomas, todo me pareció increíble. Me gustó mucho aprender de las relaciones latino américa-Israel, de lo que en realidad se vive en este país en cuanto a diversidad cultural, racial y étnica, como la cultura pop y la música han logrado un impacto importante en la cultura israelí y muchísimos más temas tratados en las charlas. También me gustó compartir con gente de toda latinoamérica y ver cuál era su relación con Israel. Aprendí mucho. Muchísimas gracias :)”

“My favorite session was the one we had with the rabbis since I could see the beautiful and marked culture clash that exists between people from different cultures living in the same environment. The variation of themes, people, languages, everything seemed incredible to me. I really liked learning from the Latin America-Israel relations, of what is actually lived in this country in terms of cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, such as pop culture and music have achieved a significant impact on Israeli culture and many more topics discussed in the talks. I also liked spending time with people from all over Latin America and seeing what their relationship was with Israel. I learned a lot. Thank you very much :)” May 15, 2022

Jessica K, Instituto Alberto Einstein, Panamá, Panamá-

“La sesión del Dr. Stein acerca de la política de Israel y su historial en política fue la sesión que más me gustó del programa, cubrió mucha información y pude aprender mucho más de lo que pensaba. Me encantaría que hubiese más gente participando en los programas para poder tener más interacción con otros estudiantes que estén interesados en aprender más acerca de Israel, y me encantaría que siguieran teniendo más programas virtuales porque son más fáciles para poder atender. Fue una oportunidad de aprendizaje increíble y no puedo esperar a poder participar en más programas en el futuro.”

“Dr. Stein’s session on the politics of Israel and its political history was my favorite session of the program, it covered a lot of information and I was able to learn more than I thought I would. I would love to see more people participating in the programs so I can have more interaction with other students who are interested in learning more about Israel, and I would love for them to continue to have more virtual programs because they are easier to attend since a lot of us live in different countries. It was an amazing learning opportunity and I can’t wait to participate in other programs in the future.” May 15, 2022

CIE February 2022 TILI  Teen Testimonials 

“The program was just awesome. I learned more in those six hours about Israel than in the past year at my private Jewish school. All of the professors and facilitators involved were enthusiastic about the lessons and eager to answer everyone’s questions. I’m so glad I attended, and now that I’m aided with this new knowledge, I look forward to spreading awareness and effecting good change now and far into the future.” Samantha C., West Bloomfield, MI, February 2022

“As a high school student, I thought the CIE Teen Leadership Institute did a great job offering an array of speakers on a variety of topics relating to Israel. The program was engaging, even though online, and involved visual pieces and activities allowing students to meet fellow peers. I feel more knowledgeable about Israel related topics after participating in the program.” Tzofiya L., Bala Cynwyd, PA, February 2022

The program expanded my knowledge of Israel’s history and allowed me to be more informed regarding Israel’s presence in the world. Through treaties, mandates, agreements, and religious principles of both cultures, I understood why the struggle between Israel and Palestine is the way it is, and what causes this struggle boils down to (legitimacy …”  Avner R., Grand Rapids, MI, February 2022

“Participating in CIE’s Teen Israel Leadership Institute was one of the best decisions I have made. I learned a breadth of information about Israel, spanning from its founding and culture to government and global relations. The course deepened my interest in and understanding of Israel and helped me to feel a connection with the country. It’s difficult to find the kind of clear, reliable information that CIE presents anywhere else, and the way that it was presented throughout the program was engaging and piqued my fascination. The knowledge I’ve gained will help me to become a better religious school educator! I feel equipped to talk about modern issues that Israel faces, and to present my students with a well-rounded view of Israel. I find it even more essential to have accurate information about Israel today, as misinformation is widespread. After participating in CIE’s program, I think that everyone, no matter their religion or nationality, should have an Israel education.” Roan H., Pittsburgh, PA, September 2021

“As somebody with a strong Zionist identity and much prior education I wondered how the CIE program could be organized to be inclusive of teens who are coming from vastly different backgrounds on Israel-education and personal relationships to Zionism. The CIE experience was crafted in a way which catered to students from all different backgrounds and allowed for each student to take something different away from the program. After learning at CIE, I feel like I have gained the knowledge and developed the tools to confidently implement programming for Israel leadership in my communities.” Evie K., Closter, NJ, September 2021

“I enjoyed the CIE program because it gave me an opportunity to learn about Israel, surrounded by people who have similar ideas as me. I could ask questions without fear of being mocked. It was a great opportunity to grow my Israeli education.” Liam C., Phoenix, AZ, September 2021

“The Teen Israel Leadership Institute Webinar was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the important aspects of the relations between Latin America and Israel. Despite not being a Jew, I think that the relation between these two regions is important because Israel is the future, and we need to understand its history, culture and affairs. I felt welcomed in this Webinar, all the speakers were open minded and well prepared. I had the opportunity to ask numerous questions, which they all responded to professionally. I look forward to continuing to participate in these types of projects because they are sources of knowledge and skills. I encourage everyone who is interested in international affairs, geopolitics and humanities to attend this seminar.” Camilo Q., Ecuador, April 2021

“‘Israel somos todos’. The understanding and exploration of our roots, reality and future can be complex, but here is when the CIE Teen Israel Leadership Institute comes to play a role. By simply having two sessions, this program gives a glimpse of the history that precedes us, it describes the events of the present regarding our reality and it encourages us to question ourselves, with accurate information, the possible future of Israel. A plurality of incredible speakers presented diverse topics to the participants, starting with the incipient history of the Jewish state, the autonomy in exile, how the news today could be a battlefield for misinformation and the reality, and discussing and arguing possible solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, expecting a possible dialogue in the future considering the needs for this to happen. It was an enriching experience that I hope to repeat. I invite other teens to participate together in the next edition.” Joaquín A., Asunción, Paraguay, April 2021

“My experience at CIE was very enriching and taught me that my knowledge of Israel and its relationship with other countries was very limited compared with everything I learned in these two weeks. My awareness about Israel’s and Latin America’s relationship grew a lot learning about trades and treaties between the countries to more devastating and worrying things as the anti-semitic comments and news growing in Latin America in times of pandemic. I loved how the presenters talked, not just with knowledge and expertise but with the heart and passion making you more interested and immersed in the conference. I recommend it to all those young people interested in Israel or in expanding their awareness and knowledge of new things, you won’t regret it.” Valentina O., Colombia, April 2021

“As a Young Jewish Woman, I’ve always seen Israel as a place to which I’m traditionally, integrally, and religiously connected. I always had a special place for Israel in my heart. CIE’s amazing program has helped me improve my understanding of Israel’s history and present by teaching me in an engaging and insightful manner. There were speakers from all walks of life, all passionate and well-educated in their fields, and a wide range of topics were covered, from the history of Zionism to Israeli politics. Meeting people from all over the world (virtually) was a rare and exciting experience. I would strongly advise and especially to anyone who wants to get more in touch with their Jewish roots!” Lia C., Panamá City, Panamá, April 2021

“TILI has certainly been one of the most enriching experiences I was able to have. I had the opportunity to listen to presentations that were very interesting about contemporary issues, and captivating topics. Additionally, I was able to get the incredible opportunity to participate as a Peer-Facilitator, besides participating once again in TILI, I was given the chance to become part of the team. I would like to thank CIE for the opportunity to participate and I highly recommend it to those students who would like to apply.” Nurit P., Mexico, April 2021

“As a Jew, I have always viewed the land of Israel as a place I am historically, integrally and religiously connected to. CIE’s brilliant programme has taught me in a both engaging and informative fashion and helped me develop my understanding of Israel’s past and present. There was a variety of speakers from different walks of lives, all passionate and well-educated in their field, and a variety of topics, ranging from The History of Zionism to Israeli Politics through Music were covered. (Virtually) meeting people from all around the globe was a unique and exciting experience. I would highly recommend!”- Hannah M., London, UK, February 2021

“The Teen Israel Leadership Institute provided a comprehensive and well-rounded program about Israeli history, politics, and more. This program is suited for any knowledge level, covering both important base facts in addition to delving deeply into complex ideas of peace and conflict. The presenters were qualified and engaging, and the topics diverse and fascinating. I immensely enjoyed the time I spent doing this program, I and look forward to returning to it.” – Eitan P., Providence, RI, February 2021

“CIE’s programme has greatly helped to widen my previously knowledge about Israel. They provided a wide variety of speakers, each of which were passionate and widely educated in their field, as well as being engaging to listen to. I was given the opportunity to learn about many different topics, ranging from Politics in Israeli Music to the Knesset. Although the programme was virtual, I was given the opportunity to meet people from all around the world and it was a unique experience that I would greatly recommend to others.” – Maya T., London, UK, February 2021

“Participating in the Center for Israel Education’s Teen Israel Leadership Institute was an amazing experience.  The presenters were knowledgeable on the subjects they were presenting and kept all of us engaged in conversation throughout the entire program.  I learned a lot of information on many different topics having to do with Israel’s history and so much more!  This program gives people an amazing chance to connect with other students all over the world who are just as passionate about Israel education and Jewish history.  I thoroughly enjoyed the program and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Israel and have fun while doing so!” – Nicole E., Philadelphia, PA, February 2021

“After my experience living and going to school in Israel I have a deep appreciation for the importance of advocating and furthering connections with other people my age to learn more about the country, it’s people, and the culture.  My experience in Israel moved me in a significant way and I hope to work with students in my high school and in the near future a college campus to engage others in dialogue and share my love for Israel. CIE has helped further my understanding of Israel and has provided me tools to engage in meaningful conversations.” – Ellie L., Tarzana, CA, February 2021

“Since I was little, I’ve always had a special place for Israel in my heart. Both sessions in CIE’s programme gave me an amazing opportunity to learn about Israeli culture, politics and history from many different perspectives, while also virtually engaging with other people my age who shared the same passion as me! Everything I learned was quite useful for I really believe this experience is like no other, and would greatly recommend it to anyone who wants to get more in touch with their Jewish roots.” – Oliver K., Asunción, Paraguay, February 2021

“When it comes to Israeli education there are loads of resources that one can use, but the Teen Israel Leadership Institute and Michele went out of their way to make it a fluid and enjoyable experience. The course covered a lot of information, delivered in concise chunks that were easy to absorb. The structure was clear, logical, and effective. Speakers and coordinators have put a lot of thought and expertise into designing it. The atmosphere allowed for relationships to be formed with fellow teens around the world. This program gave me the confidence to be able to go into the world with new information, in contrast to my past failed attempts.” – Brooke J., New York, NY, February 2021

“CIE’s virtual Teen Israel Leadership Institute was an amazing experience that taught me so much about Israel’s history and contemporary issues. Learning about Zionism and the peace process with teens from around the world allowed me to consider new perspectives. With the skills and tools I have learned from CIE, along with the superb content provided to me, I am excited to work with my peers to bring an Israel program to my community.  Thank you to CIE!” – Nina B., Bala Cynwyd, PA, February 2021

“Participating in the Center for Israel Education’s Teen Israel Leadership Institute was an amazing experience.  The presenters were engaging and knowledgeable and I learned a ton of information on many different topics!  It was also a great opportunity to connect with other students who are passionate about Israel education and Jewish history.  I thoroughly enjoyed the program!” — Joelle S., New York, November 2020

“I think the best thing about this program was its diversity. This includes the subject matter – we had the opportunity to look at Zionism from all different angles: historical, geographical, political and socially too when we heard from the College students. The diversity extended also to the participants. Meeting and discussing Israel with the other attendees made me realize how much we had in common despite living on different continents because Judaism and Zionism formed a significant part of all of our identities. I also found that there was the perfect balance between interactivity and listening to the experts. Thank you, CIE!” – Emma L., UK, November 2020

“I learnt so much from the two CIE online sessions! Thank you so much for helping me to build up my confidence in speaking about Israel and providing me with a thorough background of the subject. It is a fantastic program, and I learned a lot about a variety of topics surrounding the conflict, such as media deception and a broad history of Zionism.  I would recommend this program to any teens around the world who want to learn how best to defend and fight for the state of Israel.” – Hattie B., UK, November 2020

“I learned the strategy of how to engage people when talking about Israel. Keeping in mind the kind of audience you have is important, along with specific details and interesting activities to keep people interested. I also learned the concepts of the borders and more history of the leaders in Israel. I enjoyed hearing from the speakers and being able to envision myself as a college activist for Israel.” Alexa G., New York, November 2020

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

Thank you for the Teen Israel Leadership Institute. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to participate; I learned so much.  I came home inspired and started planning my program to share the learning I did this weekend. – Edee P., Seattle, WA, May 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)