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Twelve students from Yeshiva University will land in Israel on Monday to spend a week constructing permanent homes, schools, and community centers for former Gush Katif residents in the desert community of Halutza in southern Israel.

These undergraduates have raised $20,000 to support the project as part of the University's QUEST student leadership program.

The mission, which marks the first-ever partnership between Yeshiva University and the Jewish National Fund, is geared toward presenting the students with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and gain a deeper understanding of their cause.

"Our hope is that this mission will not only help these students learn about this specific cause and how they can contribute to it, but that it will inspire them to share their passion for Jewish communal causes with their peers," said Marc Spear, the leadership training director for YU's Center for the Jewish Future.

"Our partnership with Yeshiva University has presented a unique opportunity to work with an exceptional group of students who are already committed to becoming leaders in the Jewish community," said Rebecca Kahn, JNF Campus Programs Manager. "It has also connected the Orthodox community to JNF's work in Israel, so it has been very exciting."