The first International Young Leadership Retreat of its kind.

May 21, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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30 young leaders from Australia, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, and Ireland have taken part in the first International Young Leadership Delegation of its kind in Israel.

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Together with Keren Kayemet L’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), the young leaders were able to learn about Israel’s unique innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and how to apply this knowledge back home.

Among the places the delegation visited was the KKL-JNF Be’eri forest – where thousands of acres were burned by kite and balloon arson attacks from Gaza. The delegation met with KKL-JNF foresters and heard from local residents about the daily terror they faced and how the environment and wildlife in the area were affected.


At the educational centre in Nes Harim, the delegation took part in leadership and team building seminars with the non-profit Ach Gadol (Big Brother), which provides invaluable, one-on-one support for lone soldiers and new Olim. As part of their visit, the leadership delegation of young 20-35-year-olds made a commitment to raising $25,000 USD to the Ach Gadol Project.

Ronnie Vinnikov, Executive Director Global Resource Development at KKL-JNF, expressed to the delegation that, “Thanks to your passion and dreams, we will be able to ensure that this country continues to prosper.”

Additional events included a visit at the KKL-JNF House for Excellence in Nazareth Illit, where the delegation connected with the high school students who took part of the afternoon enrichment courses in STEM and core subjects. The students shared their experience at the centre and the significant improvements they have seen in their academic achievements since its opening. There are a total of ten KKL-JNF Houses for Excellence planned to be established in northern and southern Israel, in an effort to narrow the achievement gap with central Israel and provide youth from all across Israel with the opportunities to excel. The delegation also visited the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, as well as the first handicap-accessible trail in Israel in Lotem, and the KKL-JNF Agamon Hefer & Alexander River.

Young leadership delegation member Sophia Jasqui from Mexico City said during the visit that, “I am really enjoying the opportunity to experience Israel in a new way. The things we learn here, we will be able to bring back and teach our communities back home.”

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