OTZMA Israel Program to End After 26 Years
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has announced that it is ending the long-running OTZMA Israel program after the completion of its current year program.
OTZMA, founded in 1986, has brought over 1,400 young Jewish adults to Israel for a 10-month period to learn Hebrew, do volunteer work and gain professional internships in partnership with their local Jewish federation.
“Today, there are more than 200 Israel programs for young Jewish adults, built upon OTZMA’s shoulders, and many offer similarly extraordinary experiences. As a result, at the end of this academic year, JFNA has decided to stop implementing OTZMA as a stand-alone Jewish Federations’ Israel experience program,” JFNA CEO Jerry Silverman said in a letter announcing the decision.
Jason Oifer, who participated in OTZMA in 2007-2008, called the program “was one of the best years of my life.”