In partnership with North American Association of Community and Congregational Hebrew High Schools (NAACCHHS) and Emory Hillel

Program Structure:

The CIE Teen Israel Leadership Institute program offered by the Atlanta based Center for Israel Education in partnership with the North American Association of Community and Congregational Hebrew High Schools (NAACCHHS) and Emory Hillel will enhance Israel knowledge among Jewish teens and provide them with valuable skills for sharing that knowledge with others.

The program is for all students who are in grades 10 and 11. 

Teens do not need to be enrolled in a NAACCHHS school to apply

There are three components:

  • A weekend retreat (April 13-15)
  • 2 webinars
  • A project to be shared with a local Jewish community school, congregation, or organization

The program will commence with a weekend retreat to be held in Atlanta at Emory University April 13 – 15, 2018. During the retreat, participants will engage in wide variety of learning sessions and experiences. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to take a tour of the Emory University campus and visit local sites of interest.

All participants will be required to create an Israel learning program for their community, synagogue or youth group. Projects can vary from a one-time educational program to an ongoing series. Projects can be collaboratively devised. CIE and NAACCHHS staff will mentor students in the creation and delivery of their projects. Following the seminar, there will be two webinar educational sessions.

Examples of a project may include:

  • Plan and deliver a course on an aspect of Israel to adults or peers
  • Create a teen focused Yom Ha’atzmaut program
  • Design an Israeli film or cultural arts series
  • Create a website for teens about engaging with Israel

Cost and Application:

The CIE Teen Israel Leadership Institute costs $100 per person.

Accepted participants are responsible for their own travel to and from Atlanta from their home community. A special travel stipend of up to $200 is available to each participant. Submission of original travel receipts is required within ten days of the retreat’s completion for use of the special travel stipend.

All lodging, Kosher food and program materials are included in the price.

Application deadline is March 1, 2018. Acceptance notifications will be sent by March 5, 2018

Space is limited

Contact Rich Walter at CIE with any questions


Lodging will be double occupancy at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. Programming and meals will take place at Marcus Hillel Center and CIE’s offices, both of which are on the Emory campus.

Accepted participants who are travelling will be asked to arrive in Atlanta between 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM on April 13 and depart any time after 4:30 PM on April 15. Transportation between the airport and the conference hotel will be provided.

Shabbat observance:

Friday night services and dinner will be held together with Emory Hillel (choice of Reform or Egalitarian Conservative). There will not be formal Shabbat morning services on Saturday. All learning sessions held on Shabbat will be appropriate for the day and will not include technology or require writing.

Program Leadership:

The CIE Teen Israel Leadership Institute is directed by Rich Walter and Steve Kerbel.

Rich has decades of experience working with teens, serving as a director of Hebrew High Schools in New Haven, CT and Providence, RI. From 2002 – 2012, Rich was the New England Regional Director and lead educator for March of the Living.

Steve Kerbel spent fourteen years as a synagogue education director before starting his own educational consulting business. Steve has worked as an educator for United Synagogue Youth and guided teen trips in Boston and Washington for a wide variety of organizations.

Retreat schedule (subject to change)

Friday April 13

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Welcome and Registration, Check-in to rooms – Optional Campus Tour at 3:30
4:30 PM – Icebreaker, opening program
6:30 PM Dinner and Shabbat Services at Emory Hillel (choice of Reform or Egalitarian Conservative)
8:00 PM – Why Israel matters for American Jews – Presentation by Professor Ken Stein
9:30 PM – Israel on Campus: Panel discussion with Emory Hillel students

Saturday April 14

8:30 AM – Breakfast
9:30 AM – Shabbat morning reflection/study. Choice of:
Israel and Torah
Israel and Jewish Prayer
Israel and Niggunim
11:00 AM – Origins and philosophies of Zionism
12:00 PM – Simulation of the First Zionist Congress
1:00 PM – Lunch
2:00 PM – Israel’s Declaration of Independence
3:30 PM – Educational Breakout Rotation 1:
Experiential Learning – The immigration timeline
Teaching with Primary Sources – Absorbing Immigrants
4:30 PM – Educational Breakout Rotation 2:
Experiential Learning – The immigration timeline
Teaching with Primary Sources – Absorbing Immigrants
5:30 PM –Project Discussion
6:30 PM – Dinner
7:30 PM – Havdalah
8:00 PM – Israeli film and Discussion
10:00 PM – Chopped Hummus: An example of using reality television to teach and learn about Israel

Sunday April 15

7:30 AM – Breakfast
8:30 AM – The Conflict in Context
Two-State Solution
9:30 AM – Contemporary Challenges: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State
11:30 AM – Depart for Civil Rights Museum (Box Lunch)
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Museum
2:00 PM – Depart for Airport