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Lauren Stuhmer's Israel Adventure

Robert & Ceil Levy Leadership Award recipient Lauren Stuhmer recently traveled to Israel and spent time in Federation's Partnership2Gether TZAHAR region.

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Lauren and Jason Stuhmer during their recent trip to Israel.

Two years ago, I was honored to receive the Robert & Ceil Levy Young Leadership Award at Federation’s Annual Meeting. This past December, I was able to travel to Israel as a result. This was my second time visiting Israel, and this time I brought my husband.

This Israel experience was different on so many levels

One of the biggest highlights was my experience in our Partnership2gether cities of Tzfat, Hatzor-Haglilit and Rosh Pina (TZAHAR region). I was familiar with initiatives in the region accomplished through Federation's Annual Campaign, but seeing it firsthand made it come to life.

Livnot U’Lehibanot, an amazing organization whose programs offer connections to the land through hiking and the people through hand-on volunteer opportunities, was something unlike anything else I had seen here at home. My husband, Jason, and I were able to have dinner with three participants from our region’s Israel Emerging Leadership Project delegation. I didn’t know much about the English enhancement program that twins local schools there with our own Meyer Academy.

Another amazing endeavor is their “TED talks” project that brings the community together quarterly to hear a variety of speakers on pressing and timely topics. After hearing them discuss the English project, I got to experience it first hand and be a part of the students in Rosh Pina meeting their American pen pals. The kids were so excited to learn about the US.

Although being in the partnership region was only a small part of our weeklong trip, it had a profound impact and one that I will not soon forget. I am so grateful to have had this experience, and I only hope I can return soon.

Written by Lauren Stuhmer, The Collaborative <45, Board Member

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