Yaniv Rivlin, program officer, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
The Tulsa-based Schusterman Foundation tries to engage Jewish young adults in authentic, personalized ways through grants and programming.
Working from the foundation’s Atlantic Station office, Rivlin manages trips to Israel all year as part of the REALITY initiative, which brings international activists, community leaders and students together in Israel to connect with one another and share ideas.
The foundation is highly selective in the applications for Israel trips. Applicants must display a history of supporting their communities with their talents or abilities; leadership experience also is important. The foundation heavily subsidizes the trips to make them affordable. Most trips are limited to 40 participants, although Rivlin with little assistance led a trip of 80 attendees last year.
The REALITY program offers five trips: Eden to Zion, REALITY Pro, REALITY Leadership, REALITY Global and REALITY Tech.
Rivlin is passionate about allowing the land of Israel to connect to people naturally and to enrich ever-changing identities. The unique aspects of Israeli life are enriching to anyone, Rivlin said. His REALITY trips foster strong connections between diaspora Jews and Israel and develop each individual personally and professionally.
“REALITY takes exceptional individuals from different spheres on a journey in Israel to expose them to Israel but also to go through a value-based leadership journey with peers,” Rivlin said. “I think there’s no better place to go through that journey than Israel because of all its history, religion, complexity, proximity, people. It’s the best way to explore who you are and your connection to Jewish values.”