The communal launch of Y2i

September 13, 2015 by Henry Benjamin
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Y2i, a project which offers every Jewish Year 10 student in NSW, the ACT and Queensland the opportunity to participate in an extensive study tour of Israel, has been launched in Sydney.

Peter Philippsohn, Raelle Freikel, Robert Goot, Keren Lax, Jeremy Dunkel and Rebecca Walkens

Peter Philippsohn, Raelle Freinkel, Robert Goot, Keren Lax, Jeremy Dunkel and Rebecca Walkens    Photo: Giselle Haber

Community leaders attended the event at Jewish Care at which they heard students from Moriah College, Emanuel School and Rose Bay Secondary College recount their experiences of their participation in the program.

Y2i offers every Jewish student in the ACT, NSW and Queensland $5,000 towards the cost of the $9-10,000 program without a means test. Parents are offered the opportunity to return the $5,000 if it is not required in order for the funds to be used to help others. Families who cannot afford the balance of the cost of the tour can apply for assistance subject to means test.

Some of those behind Y2i: Richard and Jacqui Scheinberg, Roxanne, Jeremy, Anette and Michael Dunkel Photo: Giselle Haber

Some of those behind Y2i: Richard and Jacqui Scheinberg, Roxanne, Jeremy, Anette and Michael Dunkel Photo: Giselle Haber

The three girls who spoke were Emanuel School’s Rebecca Walkens, Moriah College’s Keren Lax and Rose Bay College’s Raelle Freinkel.

Alicia Meyer Beverley, a parent of one of the participants in the last program also told the audience comprised of community and school leaders of the impact the experience had had on her family.

The program was launched by The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s president Robert Goot. In his address Goot said: “The proverbial elephant in the Israel education experience room, has been the cost coupled with a reluctance of middle class families to ask for financial assistance, compounded by the absence of programs for Year 10 students from outside Jewish Day Schools.

In 2014, to test the assumption that cost is a significant barrier to greater adoption, a donor family committed to making $500,000 available through Y2i to provide 100 non-income tested vouchers of $5,000 for any prospective applicant. The vouchers were distributed in proportion to that cohort’s representation in the community i.e. 50% of the vouchers were for students from outside the Jewish day school system.

This resulted in 170 children joining programs in December 2014 – 50% more than the preceding year. The most dramatic increase was from the Emanuel School which sent its first group ever of 27 students.”

Goot added: “Y2i is a game changer that will ensure that the greatest predictor of strong Jewish identity amongst young Jews who come from secular and less affiliated Jewish homes, – an Israel education experience will be available to all who seek it.”

He told J-Wire that the project is “historically unique”.

Y2i plans to operate on funds generated by a corpus of $37 million and will be holding an appeal next month.


Read more about Y2i on J-Wire.

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