High school students in the NCSY JUMP Project at the Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach spent Christmas hosting Israel Awareness Day to help educate the community about what is going on in Israel today.
NCSY JUMP (Jewish Unity Mentoring Program) is a 12-member volunteer leadership group. Participating students include captains Jordana Rotenberg and Michelle Shakib, as well as Alix Klein, Hailey Dobin, Ariela Stein, Jackie Olemberg, Danny Bister, Pesach Bixon, Ethan Danial, Tomer Zed, Shoshy Ciment and Madison Emas.
Selected following an application process, JUMP students attended a leadership skills conference in New York in October before coordinating Israel Awareness Day with help from Hebrew Academy co-mentors Rabbi Aryeh Young and Rachel Shakib and financial support from Dr. Shmuel and Evelyn Katz.
Held in the school’s auditorium (2400 Pine Tree Dr.), the program featured Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, founder of Our Soldiers Speak; Rabbi Seth Mandell, co-founder of the Koby Mandell Foundation; and Osher Twito, a child victim of terror from Sderot, Israel.
Osher, 13, was injured by a bomb in 2008 while buying a gift for his dad. His left leg was amputated and he wears a prosthetic. Osher was able to visit Miami Beach for a week with his mother — and address the crowd in English — thanks to assistance from The OneFamily Fund, an Israeli-based charity that helps child victims of terror. As part of the program, Osher also celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, complete with a luncheon, music and dancing.
“We felt very accomplished, and a lot of people appreciated what we did,” said 14-year old JUMP member Alix Klein of Israel Awareness Day.