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Diller teen fellows

A year of a lifetime

"Diller opened my eyes to new experiences, Jewish practices, and people. It fostered meaningful friendship and helped me refine my own Jewish identity. The year was transformative and fun!"

Diller Teen Fellows in Israel. Photo: Supplied
Diller Teen Fellows in Israel. Photo: Supplied

A DELEGATION of 20 Melbourne teens recently returned from a transformative three-week Diller Teen Fellowship seminar in Israel.

The Diller Teen Fellows program is recognised as a premier leadership-development framework for Jewish teens with more than 7000 Diller alumni worldwide.

The program empowers young minds to explore their Jewish identities and develop their leadership skills to become proactive agents of tikkun olam (repairing the world).

The Australian representatives joined 700 teens from 32 communities across seven countries at the global initiative.

The program in Melbourne is run under the auspices of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA).

ZFA CEO Ginette Searle sad she was “thrilled to visit the Diller Israel Summer Seminar (ISS) on their last evening and witness not only the energy of 700 teens but to observe the close bonds they’d obviously created with each other”.

“The fellows have returned united by their shared dedication to tikkun olam, and strengthened their Jewish identities,” she said.

“The ZFA is proud to run Diller in Australia, empowering fellows to embrace their Jewish heritage, step into leadership roles and actively contribute to the betterment of our global community.”

Throughout the year-long fellowship, teens participate in local-based workshops (mifgashim), weekend retreats (Shabbatonim), a weeklong exchange called Jewish Community Mifgash with a partnership community from the Golan and the three-week Israel Summer Seminar.

Current Melbourne fellow Amelia Brooks reflected on the program, “Diller opened my eyes to new experiences, Jewish practices, and people. It fostered meaningful friendship and helped me refine my own Jewish identity. The year was transformative and fun!”

Diller started when philanthropist Helen Diller “l observed the effectiveness of existing leadership programs for young professionals and saw the need to reach potential leaders much earlier, in the critical teenage years.

“Diller serves as a foundational year that can impact the lifetime of a teen, as they explore their Jewish identity and the good they want to do in the world as a leader. Their impact as young changemakers reaches across the globe,” said Jen Smith, executive director of the Helen Diller Family Foundation Programs.

Diller Teen Fellows Melbourne is now recruiting its next cohort of 20 lucky teens for a year to change their lifetime. Applications close on September 5, 2023.

To apply, contact Diller Teen Fellows Melbourne coordinator Sharni Briner: dillertf@zfa.com.au

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