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Green Horizons Interns a Success in New England

In over 109 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader & is a United Nations NGO. JNF is neither political nor religious and therefore garners multi-cultural support and continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

 When Martin Kofman joined the Jewish National Fund Board of Directors, he was immediately intrigued by a program in Israel that helped develop future leaders, Green Horizons Youth Movement.  As a way of expressing thanks to one of the program’s youth group leaders, he brought Neta Amitai from Israel to Boston.  Neta spoke to youths at area schools and synagogues, inspiring them to make a difference through volunteerism and leadership.  “I was utterly amazed by 19–year old Neta’s level of maturity, insight and leadership qualities.  I would have been comfortable having my own son led on hikes through the Israeli wilderness under her guidance,” shared Kofman.  “The students Neta spoke to truly connected with her passion, which motivated them to expand their community service efforts and commitment to Israel,” added Senior Campaign Executive Deborah Budd.

The Green Horizons young leadership group has provided informal educational programming to 20,000 Israeli children and teens over the past 30 years. Known in Israel as Hugey Sayarut (Hebrew for “hiking groups”), it was formed by a group of friends as a memorial to Uri Meimon, an IDF soldier who was killed in the Yom Kippur War. Meimon was passionate about hiking, so his friends decided to create an educational program in his memory that would cultivate the love of hiking among Israeli youth.

Separated from television and computers and immersed in nature, Green Horizons participants learn about Israel’s history, geography, and culture through activities led by professional guides. The program emphasizes the importance of social participation, tolerance, and personal responsibility, using group dynamics to help youngsters acquire essential values and skills. Activities are designed to build self confidence, independence, leadership abilities, and an appreciation for the beauty of Israel. Led by Major General Uzi Dayan, nephew of Moshe Dayan, Green Horizons cultivates responsible young citizens and the future leadership of Israel. Alumni include top-ranked IDF officials and some of the country’s most successful executives and professionals.

Green Horizons operates in more than 30 cities, towns, and communities across Israel. The annual cost for participation (including weekly activities, field trips, and camps) is $1,000 per student. The cost is high because activities take place in small groups and because of the medical and security arrangements needed for field trips. To expand the program’s reach to disadvantaged communities and at-risk youth, Jewish National Fund (JNF) awards need-based scholarships as part of its support of Green Horizons. JNF is committed to ensuring that all children in Israel have an equal opportunity to participate in this transformative program regardless of their families’ to pay for membership.

For more information, call 617-423-0999or visit www.jnf.org/greenhorizons

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