Otzma becoming Jewish Agency program


NEW YORK (JTA) — Otzma, the yearlong volunteer program in Israel, is being adopted by a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The Jewish Federations of North America announced Nov. 1 that it was dropping the program and initiated a process to find another agency to take it over. Upon completion of this year’s program, Otzma will be taken over by the Israel Experience Educational Tourism Services, a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency.

“We are confident the Israel Experience will help continue to provide the brand of life-changing Israel programs for young adults for which Otzma is known,” Michele Sackheim Wein, Otzma’s chairwoman, said in a news release.

Over the past three decades, Otzma has sent more than 1,400 Jewish young adults from nearly 100 communities in North America to Israel. The Israel Experience specializes in organizing youth trips to Israel and already provides Otzma with logistical services.

“We are very excited to become the new home for Otzma,” said Erez Cohen, director of Israel Experience’s Long Term Program division. “We have known the program for years, and have been proud to be its logistical provider over the last several years. We believe in the program and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure its long-lasting success."

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