2:00 pm
2021 Youth Ambassador Student Exchange (YASE)

2021 Youth Ambassador Student Exchange (YASE) Background: The Youth Ambassador Student Exchange (YASE) program is the AIFL’s flagship educational program and since 1977 the AIFL has conducted this formal binational educational exchange in partnership with the Israel Youth Exchange Authority (IYEA) formerly the Public Council for the Exchange of Youth and Young Adults. To date over 5000 predominantly non-Jewish American high school students and their families have participation in this month-long exchange program where chaperoned they gain the experience of living in each other’s country and home. Each program is conducted around a current international theme. Program Dates: October 14th – November 11th Israeli Delegations arrive in the US - October 14th US Home Hospitality – October 14th to 21st Tours/Lectures etc. Washington DC & NYC – October 21st – 27th October 21st – 24th – Washington, DC October 24th – 27th – New York American Delegations Arrive in Israel - October 28th Tours/Lecture etc. Jerusalem a& Tel Aviv – October 28th – November 4th October 28th – November 1st – Jerusalem November 1st – 3rd – Tel Aviv Home Hospitality – November 4th to 10th American Delegations Return to the US – November 11th Guidelines: Delegation Size: 10 students preferably from the 11th grade though students from the 10th grade are accepted (5 boys and 5 girls) and a chaperone, unless your district guidelines require more than one chaperone. Orientation programs: Orientation workshops and seminars can be facilitated by AIFL partners in education, professional staff and lay leadership in cooperation with the Israeli Consulate with oversight for your region. Each delegation must complete at least 3 orientation sessions with a focus on Israeli culture, history, popular facts and current affairs. Diversity and Inclusion: The youth ambassador delegations both American and Israeli should reflect the diversity of both countries. Cost: The cost per participant is $3,400. This includes all study materials, accommodations in the US and Israel, meals, entrance fees, ground transportation, domestic and international airfare, videography, international travel, and medical insurance. The school district is responsible for the cost of the chaperone/s (some districts may require more than one chaperone for study abroad programs), which should not be passed on to the students. The AIFL extends payment plans in lieu of lump sum payments if needed. Please contact me, to discuss this option if needed. However, the initial down payment must be made with the submission of the completed student application forms (not less than $500 pp). The balance divided into a number of payments at the discretion of the program coordinator or chaperone and completed prior to the start of the program on Thursday, October 14th. Hosting: Home hospitality is gender based, unless there are extenuating circumstances which must be signed off on by the parents/guardians of both the host and guest student and the AIFL. Hosting program: To ensure that your hosting program is successful your school community and your colleagues should be aware of your guests. Especially, since they will be seeing your Israeli guests on campus and perhaps even sitting in class with their ‘host sibling’. Perhaps a first activity could be a welcome assembly or pep rally where your Israeli guests make their first group presentation as to who they are, life in Israel and their city etc. Your hosting program for your guests should include activities that are unique to your state, school district, special events at school etc. During the weekend and on evening’s your guests are with their hosts and will participate in their family activity unless there is a group activity planned for both American and Israeli youth ambassadors. Please note, the program does not require the host youth ambassador delegation to participate in all activities for your guest Israeli youth ambassadors during school hours. You can identify those activities that you think will be more meaningful if they did. This will prevent them from missing any classes unnecessarily until both delegations (your delegation and your guests) leave for Washington DC on Thursday, October 21st. Team calls: As we prepare to start this year’s exchange during the month of August until October 14th, there will be bi-weekly calls with our American YASE Chaperone/Coordinators team. Team calls are mandatory team calls hosted by the AIFL which will walk each of the American delegations through the process until the start of the program. We share ideas, answer any questions, or address concerns and discuss hosting programs and to help each school district create successful programs for their guests. These calls really will allow us to discuss our preparations, review this year’s program, both in the US and Israel including group activities, presentations, and projects, discuss chaperone duties, answer any questions that arise as we progress to the start of the program. Program Theme and Group Project/ Assignments: This year’s program will be interactive and include group discussions and activities, guest presenters and site visits.

12:00 pm
Ethiopian Jewry’s Journey to Integration- A Minnesotan Embrace

The miraculous rescue airlifts of Ethiopian Jews, Operations Joshua, Moses, and Solomon have been widely chronicled and celebrated over the years. The Israeli Knesset recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of Operation Solomon. But what are the priorities and concerns of the Ethiopian community in Israel today and what efforts are their allies encouraging now? The invaluable efforts behind the scenes and determination of the key individuals from the Jewish and Christian interfaith community, political leaders from Minnesota ensured that thousands of Ethiopian Jews were rescued in what would be the largest airlift recorded –Operation Solomon. Many of these community activists have stayed involved in the journey to integration from an agrarian to modern society. We will also learn about the continued efforts and advocacy for the rescue of the remaining 8,000 Ethiopian Jews that remain separated from their families and how the current regional hostilities affects their safetyJoin us as we hear from Minnesota community leaders this pivotal tale of rescue, freedom, friendship, and a rebuilding of lives. Our panel will include two members of the Ethiopian Jewish community whose exoduses occurred during Operation Solomon and allies from Minnesota and national advocacy groups. One of the leaders is a former Member of Knesset and the other a beloved Rabbinical leader, they will share: The challenges they faced as a community and individuals upon arrival in Israel The successes and strides that have been made over the years of integration through educational efforts The road ahead and lessons learned as they work to rescue the remaining members of their community and reunite families Their hopes for the future for the current community and future generations Streamed live, the program will feature: Harlan Jacobs Avraham Neguise Shlomo Berihun Rabbi Jerome Epstein Ted FlaumCEOSt. Paul Jewish Federation Steve HunegsExecutive DirectorJewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas Host: Wayne FirestoneExecutive DirectorAmerica-Israel Friendship League Please share with your friends and family and register on Zoom or watch live on AIFL's Facebook page.