CJP's Campus Initiative, builds on the success of Birthright by providing support and inspiration to students before and after their trip. CJP launched IACT (Inspired, Active, Committed, Transformed) in 2007, eventually expanding to 28 campuses. Students return from Birthright transformed, but too often however, their journey ends when they come home. With CJP’s help, Birthright alums have the opportunity to engage in an active Jewish life and advocate for Israel on campus.
IACT’s holistic and systematic approach starts with a well-trained and highly focused IACT coordinator based in the campus Hillel. The year round program fosters engagement, community building and Israel advocacy on college campuses through active engagement prior to the Birthright trip, travels with students and empowers participants to engage in post-trip programs once back on campus – ultimately transforming Jewish life on campus.
Funded by CJP, and working with CJP’s senior planning staff, IACT coordinators create personal connections with students by working one-on-one. Inspired by their Birthright experiences, students spark campus conversations, seek new Jewish learning opportunities, develop community service projects and work collaboratively on pro-Israel projects across multiple campuses.
Since IACT began in 2007, 80 percent of IACT alumni are “sustainably engaged” in Jewish campus life. In 2015, more than 863 Birthright alumni returned to campus and immediately engaged in Jewish life on campus. Through IACT, second immersive service-learning opportunities supported by The Lavine Family Leadership and Service Learning Fund are expanding, such as Onward Boston which has sent over 420 students for eight-week professional internships in Israel. Students are also provided training in advocacy, and in New England alone IACT has developed 1,200 core activists.
Working in partnership with Hillel International, and with the support of a gift from the Edward Fein Foundation, IACT currently reaches students on sixteen campuses outside the Boston area. The goal of the new national partnership is to expand to 50 campuses over the next five years.
New England Campus Sites
To learn more, get involved or bring IACT to your campus contact Cheryl Aronson, VP Israel and Overseas at firstname.lastname@example.org.