One of the greatest ways in which The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee fulfills its mission tenet of supporting those in need is by providing opportunities for our local teens to travel on a Jewish program.
Each spring we award travel scholarships for teenagers to travel to Israel. Through a formalized application process, teens explain how making this journey would provide a meaningful experience for them, and they discuss what they would bring back to our community should they be awarded the opportunity.
Applications are reviewed by our Teen Travel Scholarship Committee, co-chaired by Alice Cotman and Joan Levenson, with members Bart Levenson, Paula Hayden, Fran Cohen and Philip Meltzer. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still seeing a lower than usual number of applicants seeking to travel overseas. We expect that demand will rebound as more families feel comfortable making travel plans again.
This year, we distributed $13,000 in scholarships. The recipients will experience Israel on BBYO International Leadership Seminar, Onward Israel and NFTY In Israel – URJ Camp Coleman programs. In addition, we have one awardee traveling across the United States, experiencing it through a Jewish lens with Jewish values. We are proud to be able to provide local students with lasting memories connected to Israel and their Judaism.