It's Israel, Chochem!: Factors Affecting Participation of Youth in Israel Experience Programs

Publication Date: June 1998

Publisher: Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Leora W. Isaacs; Devorah A. Silverman

Research Area: Culture and religion; Education

Keywords: Diaspora Relations; Israel Attachment; Youth

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This article presents an example of how results of evaluation research have had a powerful impact on a community's decision making regarding Israel experience programs. Findings from the evaluations provided insights that led to questioning the basic assumptions underlying Israel programs and to a more nuanced understanding of the obstacles and incentives to participation in Israel experience programs by teens and college youth. Those findings suggest that deterrents to participation in Israel experiences for teens and college youth are much more complex and deep-seated than originally assumed, and derive from the very relationship between North American Jews and Israel. Consequently, reducing or removing cost and information obstacles was not a sufficient catalyst for participation.

In Journal of Jewish Communal Service, v.74 no.4, Summer 1998.