Israeli Teen on Leadership Program Goes AWOL in Toronto

The 16-year-old calls organizers and family, says he decided to stay in Toronto. Jewish Agency, local police are attempting to locate the teenager.

JTA
JTA
JTA
JTA

Police are looking for an Israeli teenager who left a Jewish leadership program in Toronto and disappeared, but later called to tell officials he is okay.

The 16-year-old male, who was on a Jewish Agency-UJA Federation of Greater Toronto reciprocal program, called the organizers and his parents, as well as his sister, to tell them he had decided to leave the group and remain in Toronto, the Jewish Agency said in a statement.

Local police forces, in cooperation with representatives of the Jewish Agency, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eilat authorities and the welfare and educational authorities in Israel are working to locate the teen, according to the Jewish Agency.

The teen was participating in the Diller Teen Fellows, a Jewish leadership program for teenagers from across Israel and the Jewish world. Diller Teen Fellows in Israel participate in a yearlong program that includes a reciprocal visit to an overseas Jewish community, where they meet and interact with other Diller fellows.

The rest of the group returned to Israel on Sunday as planned, according to the Jewish Agency.

The CN Tower and Skydome are seen on Lake Ontario in Toronto.Credit: AP

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