CIE/ISMI Teen Israel Leadership Institute (TILI)

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Israel education for Jewish teens is a vital piece of the work we do at the Center for Israel Education, understanding that, regardless of politics, Israel is intrinsic to Jewish and non-Jewish identities. This year CIE has engaged over 3,000 high school students from around the world in online Israel programming. Through our partnership programs and our hallmark Teen Israel Leadership Institute, CIE connects high school students with content and context to build individual capacities to learn, belong, own and promote Israel’s story.

To read more from our Director of Teen Initiatives, Michele Freesman-Levenson, please click here

We are pleased to announce that the 2022 Teen Israel Leadership Institute for Latin American teens will take place virtually on May 15th, 2022, from 12:30 to 4:00 PM (ET).

Teens in grades 9-12 are welcome to apply. The most successful participants are willing to engage with their peers and come in with an open mind.  All levels of background knowledge of Israel are welcome to apply

Registration Fee: The $54 registration fee has been waived for the Spring TILI for Latin American teens.

Program Leadership

The program will be led by expert presenters that have a wide array of experience working with teens and in Israel education.  Ranging in expertise from politics to Israeli culture, Torah to modern history, our presenters have vast experience in creating engaging programming. 

For more information, please contact Tiffany Borrego, CIE Outreach Affiliate for Hispanic Communities at

Hear from teens who have participated in this unique learning program:

“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, all the speakers were open minded and well prepared. I had the opportunity to ask questions, which they all responded to professionally. I look forward to continuing to participate in these types of projects. Everyone who is interested in international affairs, geopolitics and humanities should 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. 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.” Joaquín A., Asunción, Paraguay, April 2021

“The experience at CIE was enriching and taught me that my knowledge of Israel and its relationship with other countries was 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 antisemitic comments and news growing in Latin America in times of pandemic. I loved how the presenters spoke, 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.” 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 CIE Virtual Teen Israel Leadership Institute has provided me with an amazing opportunity to enhance my knowledge on subjects like Zionism, Judaism, politics and leadership in a fun, interactive and unique way. I was able to see and compare perspectives and experiences with people from all around the world who, just like me, sought to expand their knowledge in said areas in order to benefit and make a positive impact in their own communities, while also empowering themselves with the history, values and aspirations of our people. I greatly enjoyed the program, and I would definitely recommend it to my friends and colleagues.”- Gary K., Paraguay, February 2021

Read more comments about the program from teens and parents.

December 2019 Teen Seminar

October 2018 Teen Seminar

Previous TILI Programs

Atlanta (April & October 2018)
Newark, NJ (January 2019) in conjunction with United Synagogue Youth
Seattle (May 2019)
Canada (virtually – November 2020)
International (virtually – February 2021 & September 2021)
Latin America (virtually – April 2021)
West Palm Beach and Israeli partners (virtually – spring 2021)

Our Partners

The CIE Teen Israel Leadership Institute program is offered by the Center for Israel Education in partnership with the Emory University Institute for the Study for Modern Israel and Emory Hillel. Our program is also supported by a generous grant from an anonymous foundation.

All participants will be asked 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. 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

Opportunity for Community Based Partnership for Intensive Teen Israel Learning

CIE offers community-based teen programming and has successfully implemented it in a number of cities across North America. To learn more about bringing this programming to your community, please contact Michele Freesman-Levenson, Director of Teen Initiatives.