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Nesiya, from the Hebrew "נסיעה", meaning "journey", is an independent year-round non-profit organization based in Jerusalem and New York City. The Nesiya Institute is not affiliated with any movement within Judaism and is committed to exploring differences among diverse Jews in order to develop Jewish leaders and invigorate Jewish life.
Programs focus on key areas of personal and communal development, including leadership, self-expression, Judaism, and Israel. The Nesiya model of experiential learning combines community building, outdoor adventure, creative text study, community service, the arts.
Nesiya alumni and staff make up a growing renaissance community of artists, educators and activists in North America and Israel. A notable Nesiya graduate is the musician Regina Spektor.
Nesiya's three core programs are:
- The Kehillah Summer Program, a six-week Israel program for North American and Israeli high school students.
- The Winter Retreat, a week-long arts and text-based program in North America, with enrichment and educational leadership training for high school, college, and post-college age young adults.
- The Kehillah Fellows Program, an academic-year community service and learning program for religious and secular Israeli high school students, with training for post-army Israelis as experiential educators.
Nesiya also conducts a wide range of initiatives, including: programs for Jewish high schools; college leadership programs; and programs for educators, lay leaders, and families. Since its first program in 1985, over 2,500 North American and Israeli young people have participated in Nesiya programs.
The following is taken from the Nesiya Institute website:
"Nesiya inspires young people from diverse backgrounds to enrich Jewish life for themselves and others. Nesiya programs bring North American and Israeli youth face to face with the richness and complexity of Jewish life – and with each other – through a unique model of experiential learning that combines community building, creative study, the arts, outdoor adventure, and community service. Every Nesiya program builds relationships and explores differences among diverse Jews in order to develop Jewish leaders and invigorate Jewish life."
The Nesiya Institute has benefited from the support of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, the New York - UJA Federation, the Rainbow-Keshet Foundation, the Horowitz Ratner Family, Susie and Michael Gelman, the Lopatin Family Foundation, the Schwarz Family, Joan and Robert H. Arnow, and private donors.
Nesiya programs encourage young people to deepen their relationship with Judaism, the Jewish people, and the nation and land of Israel, and to develop their own Jewish journey: as unique individuals, as part of an international peer group, and as contributing members of the larger Jewish community.
- The Nesiya Institute - Nesiya's homepage
- Alliance for Education in Israel Study - a study of Nesiya's (and other programs') impact on alumni.
- Frank, Naava Leah. 1996. “Adolescent Constructions of Jewishness: The Nesiya 1988 Summer-Trip to Israel.” - summary of dissertation written at Harvard about the 1988 Nesiya summer Israel program.