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Greater Miami Jewish Federation

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Youth Futures Changes Adolescent Lives in Israel

This past year, Federation and our overseas partner, The Jewish Agency for Israel, helped nearly 100 at-risk preteens and adolescents through community-based mentoring in Miami’s partnership city of Yerucham. Youth Futures, a Jewish Agency flagship program, trains local mentors to work as trusted guides and help students improve school performance, strengthen social integration and inspire community engagement. The mentors also connect youth, families and communities with services and local resources to help them overcome barriers to success.

Youth Futures provided critical support services to students at three Yerucham schools throughout the 2016-17 academic year: HaMeuchad and Kol Yaakov, two elementary schools, and Ort Sapir, a middle school. All of the students received Individual Plans centered on achievable social, academic, family and community goals to help successfully guide them through the Youth Futures program. Further, interdisciplinary meetings with each child and his/her parents, teacher and the local Youth Futures director were completed. Students were also exposed to a number of religious, social and cultural programs, including a Chanukah celebration, a recycling workshop and a theater workshop.

While the program is a boon for local students, the mentors also benefit greatly. In fact, one of the mentors was so inspired by her work with the program that she decided to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Education. Youth Futures awarded her a scholarship to help pursue her degree. Other mentors have furthered their studies by attending trainings and seminars on how to educate parents to better advocate for their children within the school system.

Youth Futures is one of many ongoing projects Federation supports in the Negev through the Miami-Yerucham Partnership, which focuses on building people-to-people relationships in an effort to strengthen both communities and to foster and develop a love of Judaism, Israel and the Jewish people.

To learn more about Youth Futures and Federation’s Miami-Yerucham Partnership, contact Dahlia Bendavid at dbendavid@gmjf.org or 786.866.8445.

The Mission of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is to mobilize human and financial resources to care for those in need, strengthen
Jewish life and advance the unity, values and shared purpose of the Jewish people in Miami, in Israel and around the world.

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