Flagship Israel Program for Diaspora Jews Finds New Home

After 27 years, the Otzma leadership program in Israel will be passed from one organizational parent to another after the current class ends in June.

The Jewish Federations of North America has found a new home for Otzma, its flagship Israel leadership program for young adults. Jerry Silverman, JFNA president and CEO, wrote in an e-mail to Otzma alumni on Friday that Israel Experience Educational Tourism Services Ltd. will assume control of Otzma when this year’s class completes the program in June.

A subsidiary of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Israel Experience runs several teen and young adult trips to Israel and has provided logistical services to Otzma over the years.

“It’s a natural fit for us, since we already work with Otzma and have a strong foundation for these kinds of programs,” said Erez Cohen, Israel Experience's director of long-term programs.

Silverman announced in November that the JFNA was dropping Otzma after 27 years and would focus on building partnerships with other Israel program providers.