In a reality where ‘virtual’ is the new norm, is there a place for NCSY Israel — a teen organization based on in-person events and social relationships?
The emergence of COVID-19 has transformed the lives of individuals, families and communities around the globe. Here in Israel, what started as a recommendation from the government to stay home has become an enforced regulation. Employees have moved to working remotely. Schools have shifted to online classes. Places of culture, casual shopping and entertainment have closed their doors. These changes have affected every demographic spanning religion, nationality, and age, presenting each with its unique set of challenges. But it is clear that “social distancing” has caused exactly that: a feeling of distance from routine social life. Such a life lacking social interaction is a recipe for loneliness.
Loneliness is not a new term for the teens of NCSY Israel, the only youth movement specifically dedicated to addressing the needs of Anglo teen olim. NCSY Israel creates a social haven for teens who are new to the country, introducing them to friends experiencing similar challenges and advisors to help guide them. All this while inspiring teens to think and connect more deeply to their Jewish identity. For a teenage oleh transitioning to a new school and learning a new language and culture, the feelings of quarantine and isolation are indeed not new.
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