The Center for Israel Education and the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel are launching an initiative to increase Israel literacy among Jewish teens in 10th and 11th grades and assist them in teaching others.

The new Teen Israel Leadership Institute will combine an in-person weekend retreat April 13 to 15 at Emory University with distance learning and engaging projects.

Partnering with CIE and ISMI on this endeavor are Emory Hillel and the North American Association of Community & Congregational Hebrew High Schools. NAACCHHS has 40 member schools engaging over 2,000 teens across the country.

“Working with CIE and ISMI provides us with an excellent opportunity for students to participate in the Israel leadership seminar, which will result in deeper teen Israel involvement in their home communities,” NAACCHHS Director Shari Weinberger said. “These teens will be charged with putting together Israel programs and learning opportunities for their whole community, and we look forward to seeing the results of this ripple effect on Israel literacy.”

The weekend retreat in Atlanta will cover a wide variety of topics, including Zionism, Israel’s foundations, contemporary challenges, Israeli culture and Israel’s political system. Primary source documents will be used in innovative ways throughout the seminar.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to tour Emory, engage in discussions with Emory students about Israel on campus and visit other sites of interest.

Teens do not need to be enrolled in a NAACCHHS school or any other religious education program to participate.

Each participant will be required to create an Israel learning program for his or her community, synagogue or youth group. Projects can vary from a one-time educational program to an ongoing series and can be collaboratively devised and delivered.

CIE and NAACCHHS staff, together with educators in the teens’ home communities, will mentor students in the creation and delivery of their projects.

After the seminar, two educational webinar sessions will combine content knowledge with practical information to develop student projects. Once completed, all student projects will be shared on the CIE website so that other teens and educators can implement them.

Thanks to a grant from an anonymous foundation, the highly subsidized program costs $100 per person. Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from Atlanta, although a travel stipend of up to $200 is available to each participant.

The $100 price includes all program materials, lodging and kosher food.

More information is available by visiting or contacting CIE Vice President of Curriculum and Outreach Rich Walter at