by Lisa Samin
For Metuka Benjamin, director of education of Stephen S. Wise Temple Schools and Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, connecting her students to Israel and Israeli peers is of paramount importance. This is why she is taking special interest in Atidim's Naale program.
The program offers young people who came to Israel on their own during high school with the Jewish Agency's Naale program, and have now completed their army service, the opportunity to go to college and intern at a leading company.
"The teenagers who came to Israel with Naale are brilliant and have so much to offer Israel," says Benjamin. "But they need to be nurtured. Atidim secures their education and a quality job once they graduate."
Atidim also offers social, cultural and volunteer activities that strengthen the ties of these brave young people, many of whom are still alone, to their homeland.
On a recent trip to Israel, Benjamin met with Atidim leaders to discuss joint activities between Atidim's Naale students and her pupils. "We have an Israel Pillar in our school and in our congregation and they will both learn about Atidim's Naale program and see how we can connect," says Benjamin.