Save the Date –
Sunday / Monday – July 3-4, 2016
29th Pocono Rafting Leadership Escape
(Optional Tuesday, July 5 Special Event)
Scholar in Residence - The Mosad's Avner Avraham - “Spy Tales of Entebbe”
- New Friendships – Networking with young professionals (20’s-30’s) from throughout the East Coast
- Participating national Jewish organizations that reach young adults: Hasbara Fellowships, AEPi, B’nai B’rith International, StandWithUs, Maccabi USA, Israel Forever & others
- Sunday, July 3 - Rafting in the Poconos (can be done as stand-alone day trip)
Monday, July 4 – Welcome America Celebration in Philadelphia
Philadelphia July 4th Parade: 11 AM and//or morning tour of the National Museum of American Jewish History, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, National Liberty Museum, Rocky Statue & much more…
Afternoon: Seminar with Mosad's Avner Avraham
Panel discussion with Jewish Community Experts
Topic: The Meaning of the Entebbe Rescue & Yoni's Heroism for American Jewish young adults
Concert on the Parkway: 5-10 PM
Fireworks on the Parkway: 10 PM
Tuesday, July 5 option:
Participation in US National Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Miracle at Entebbe & heroism of Yoni Netanyahu. Hear the story from major Israeli and American Jewish leadership and see a special Screening of “Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story”
For more info, email email@example.com or call 215-932-2974
Photos from our 2015 Rafting Trip
Live-Skype pizza supper with Isra-Aid Goodwill Ambassador Sally Oren, immediately following Pocono waterfall hike.
YJLC got a two page, two feature, two photo spread in the Jewish Exponent!
Read the Full Article Here and See Event Details & Signup Below
Special Live Speaker During Rafting Weekend:
Sunday, August 2 - "Sunday with Sally"
Live from Israel Skype interview in the Poconos with Sally Oren, wife of Ambassador Michael Oren.
Israeli newspaper YNet reports: Sally Oren - “hung out with the likes of Jerry Garcia, Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin during the 60s' in San Francisco and even had two songs written about her by Jefferson Airplane.”
Read about Sally's Long Strange Trip
Recap: Pocono Ski-Tube / East Coast Leadership Weekend
“PocoSki27” - 27th Annual Escape – March 8, 2015
Including - Live from Israel – ‘skype’ Briefing with Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Consultant to Israel’s Cabinet, former Head of Israel Mission, Texas (South West US); and former Head of Congressional Relations, Embassy On-Site analyst – Yossi Puder, FrontPage columnist, Mid-Atlantic Director StandWithUs Topic: Israel Update - US-Israel relationship
Ambassador Ettinger related:
- Long standing relationship of US-Israel based on strong democratic & other similar core values
- Specific examples of US benefits to Israel relationship in $$$Billions of dollars – incl. tech upgrades
- And as per Alexander Haig – Israel as “American Aircraft carrier in the Middle East”
- Current sour relations of leaders, as “tumbleweeds” in the larger picture of US Israel cooperation
Yossi Puder – extensive analysis of current issues, including threat of radical Islam and anti-Israel radicalism on campus.
Participants enjoyed discussion, both with Ambassador Ettinger and Yossi Puder.
Skiing and Tubing was a BLAST!
“In memory of Spock” —
Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet
Please see this tribute to Leonard Nimoy
As Bibi is about to address AIPAC and Congress, a critical perspective to READ:
Netanyahu addresses the Joint Session of Congress
by Yoram Ettinger
“Israel Hayom” — February 27, 2015
Please note we have Amb. Ettinger for YJLC ... NEXT WEEKEND!!!
Pocono Ski / Tube - East Coast Leadership Weekend
27th Annual Escape — March 7/8, 2015
Pocono Blue Mt. Winter Sports — Sunday late morning to evening - Skiing/Tubing/Snow Boarding/Learn to Ski with group discount package
- Saturday Night Pizza Party/Havdalah Mixer
- Saturday Night Party (Open Bar)
- Complete hotel package, meals & room (dbl/occ), - only $98
Room Share assistance provided / Ride Share assistance provided.
Sunday morning Bagel Breakfast with EXCLUSIVE 'Live from Israel' Interview with Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Consultant to Israel’s Cabinet Topic; Israel Update - Election issues & US-Israel relationship Moderated by Yossi Puder, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, StandWithUS
*** $25 Scholarship to first 20 confirmed reservations – curtesy of grant from the Bucks County Neighborhood Coalition, of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
*** $50 Scholarship to first 10 Hasbara Fellowship Alumni - curtesy of Hasbara Fellowships
Reservations & more info: RSVP4YJLC@gmail.com
Sign up on line here
YJLC's Rafting / Leadership / Israel Solidarity Weekend was a HUGE success!
Jewish community Israel Activism HISTORY made in Allentown, PA on Sunday Aug.17.
4 top Israeli experts gave "Live from Israel" briefings, with 3 on-site experts sharing with participating young professional leaders.
(Recap of Skype briefings available upon request)
Remarks from "Live from Israel" Experts to YJLC leaders:
- Counter Terrorism Expert Prof. Guiora - “Hamas leaders are extremely intelligent, but they made a strategic error … by attacking Tel Aviv”
- Israeli sports icon Tal Brody - “when the Red Alert sounds, I reach into the trunk of my car to pull out the blanket so my wife does not have to lay on naked ground.”
- Media Expert Aryeh Green - “Conflict sells - Editors will not publish stories of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, as it does not fit their needs.”
- Jerusalem Post's Gil Hoffman warned of a possible short lived political unity and the “war within,” with political opponents sniping at Bibi.
Help YJLC organize the next Leadership event, PocoSki27 – 27th Annual Pocono Ski Leadership Weekend, set for Valentine’s/President’s Weekend, February 14-16, 2015. Please RSVP via email: YJLVEvents@gmail.com
Rafting / Leadership / Israel Solidarity Weekend Event Slideshow:
Winter Olympics .... Valentines Day ... next Snow Storm ...
Perfect timing for YJLC PocoSki26 - Feb. 22-23, 2014
Photos from 2014 Event:
If you want to make networking connections with other Jewish young professionals... Skiing optional either day of the weekend ... or just come for the ...
Young Professional's Leadership Program -
* Saturday Night Havdalah/Pizza Party/Presentation
Guest Speaker: Matan Peled - giving Israeli perspective on:
“Secrets” of Scarlett Johansson & Soda Stream ...
- stories of Cooperation among Israeli Jews and Palestinians
Matan Peled holds a BA cum laude in Jewish Studies from Gratz College. He is a native Israeli and served as a Medic in the Israeli Defense Forces. Matan has extensive experience as an educator in a variety of formal and informal settings. He most recently served as religious school teacher and youth group advisor at Congregation Beth Shalom and Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater, FL.
* Sunday morning brunch - Israel Update and discussion on roles of leadership for Jewish young adults
Moderator: Lou Balcher, 9 year veteran of the Foreign Ministry of Israel, National Director of the American Friends of the Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel.
YJLC Launches New FaceBook Page: 2nd Generation YJLC
Connecting those whose parents met through YJLC - Young Jewish Leadership Concepts
Purpose: to share background, interests, accomplishments, photos, ... and provide mutual support.
Preparing to take on the roles of Leadership in the Jewish Community
Visit and join: facebook.com/groups/1435869366642307
Mixer with a Message
JOIN for the mixer...
JOIN for the message...
JOIN for new friendships (ages 21-30something)
Young Professionals Gathering:
Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 6:00 PM
1210 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
TOPIC: An Action Plan for Success in Your Relationships, with Aleeza Ben Shalom, Expert Relationship Counselor
Cash Bar - Meeting Games
Happy Hour Special Prices
9 beers on tap, 10 more in bottles, plus giant warm pretzels..."the true essence of Bavaria is represented at its best in this Fishtown fun spot." - a Steven Starr establishment
Cover $10 at door, $5 if pre-registered by December 12
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include name, phone, and email address)
Presented by: Young Jewish Leadership Concepts (YJLC) A Non-Profit Young Professionals Network
Jewish Soul Music Songstress Neshama Carlebach
September 22, 2013 — Young professionals join Sukkah / community gathering with celebrity Jewish soul music songstress Neshama Carlebach, daughter of legendary Shlomo Carlebach.
Thank you to Sharon Schmidt, Director, Magen David Adom, for organizing a phenomenal Concert, and to Rabbi Andy Merrow of Beth Sholom for hosting the Sukkah gathering.
Recap: YJLC Poco26 Rafting Leadership Weekend – August 23-24, 2013
Attending – 34 young professionals from Philly area, NY, NJ, Baltimore and Chicago.
Special Thanks to:
- Co-Chairs – Steve Schimmel & Mike Blum
- Recruitment Chair – Polina Pomerants
- AEPi Alumni Liaison – Shaw Levin
- Friday evening program speaker – Sahar Oz
- Saturday morning MASA Speaker – Erica Shwartz
- B'nai B'rith
- Save a Child's Heart
- American Friends of Magen David Adom
- American Israel Friendship League
- Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
- Jewish Federation of Reading
- Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester, & Salem Counties
Friday night – Saturday evening
Kiddush & Dinner
"Cactus Comedy - Israel Through Humor" with Sahar Oz, Cherry Hill JCC Judaic Programs DirectorSaturday Morning
Lox & Bagel Breakfast
Israel long term program opportunities with Erica Schwarz, MASA Alumni Director
“Israel Behind the Scenes - 3 Paradigm Shifts in Israel/World Relations” with Lou Balcher
White Water Challengers Rafting Center:
Volleyball; Lehigh River Rafting; Kosher Hot Dog RoastEnding Havdalah - group photos
Comments from Anna Rose, former Marketing Coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, participant at YJLC's pre-Rafting "Meeting in Manhattan" at BBI NYC HQ, May 28, and one of 34 young professional Poco26 participants who enjoyed Rafting and new Friends last weekend:
I'd like to thank you for allowing me to participate in this years Poco26 weekend. I came to Pennsylvania with the expectation that I was probably going to meet a few cool people and go white water rafting for the first time; I left with soo much more. Not only have I made a few new significant friendships, but my faith in Judaism and Israel and the desire to continue working in and volunteering for the Jewish community has been renewed.
The Friday evening Shabbat dinner was so lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed our speaker, Sahar Oz. He was remarkably funny and most enjoyable. Getting to meet everyone and hear a little bit about each person and the reason they all came on this weekend was very special.
The Saturday morning lox and bagel breakfast was great, but our speaker, Erica Shwartz, was even better. As a fellow MASA Alumni, I can relate to Erica's experience. Her story and experience was soo thoughtful and inspiring and brought back a flood of nostalgia for me. I'm very happy that Erica was a part of this weekend as I feel it's incredibly important to bring young adults to experience Israel long term.
A special thank you to Steve Schimmel, who invited me to participate in this weekend. Steve was very modest about what this weekend was going to entail. I enjoyed his speech during breakfast and his explanation as to why it's important for us, as young adults to continue to stay involved in the Jewish community.
Lou, I found your story of your mother and the reason YJLC has begun as exceptionally special. I'd like to thank you for sharing your story and being so warm and welcoming to all of us. I'd love to continue to be a part of YJLC and hope that we can all enjoy many more events in the future.
YJLC in NYC
As B'nai B'rith International is celebrating its 170th year as the great incubator of Jewish entrepreneurship, blocks away from its founding, BBI NYC HQ hosted 15 community leaders, including six YJLC young professional activists, who come together for a MEETING IN MANHATTAN, Tuesday night, May 28, 2013.
The gathering represented 8 national Jewish organizations, and discussed working together to promote what will be an AMAZING experience, Poco26 our 26th Annual Pocono Rafting/Leadership Weekend, August 23-25.
Post Yom Ha’Atzmaut Kosher Chinese Buffet and Gift of Life Cheek Swab –“A Mixer with a Purpose” for Young Jewish Professionals
Gift of Life - Jewish genetic bone marrow registry - Please help in the campaign to find a match for Chuck Agree whose family is from the Delaware Valley
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM in Philadelphia's Chinatown
Celebrate Israel Independence Day with thousands of members of the Jewish community at the Philadelphia Convention Center
Enjoy the FREE Israeli Music Concert at 2:30 PM then join us for Kosher Chinese Buffet. Make new friends and a take a chance to cave a cife with a "Gift of Life" Cheek Swab
Kosher Chinese Buffet - only $15
Limited Spaces - RSVPs desired by 10:00 PM on May 16.
For more info and to RSVP, please contact: YJLCevents@gmail.com
Presented by Young Jewish Leadership Concepts a non-profit young professionals network founded in 1986
March 17, 2013 - YJLC Leaders “Usher” at inter-faith program with Consul General of Israel Yaron Sideman, Pastors Liz and Steve Defrain, who were honored, and 104 year old grandmother Eleanor Hall, prior to her April Holyland Christian Pilgrimage
“PocoSki25” — 25th Anniversary Pocono Ski Leadership Weekend
March 2-3, 2013
It's a BLAST — just like the Rafting Weekend!
Presentation "Keys to Jewish Leadership" followed by Pocono Skiing - with special thanks to the Steve Beilowitz Israeli Connection fund, and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
YJLC Ski Weekend Kick-Off Happy Hour
New Yorkers shared a drink and learned about YJLC and the March 2-3 Ski Leadership weekend on January 17, 2013 @ the Court Bar at St.Giles Hotel (Formerly Lex Bar) @ 130 E 39th St., New York City
YJLC “Mixer with a Message” — January 25, 2013
Message: Save a Child's Heart
Rachel Grosser, a Penn grad, came in from NY to share the story of SACH, Israeli cardiologists performing lifesaving surgery, by flying children to Israel from developing countries.
YJLC's First “Mixer with a Message” — November 25, 2012
Message: Gift of Life
Amazing initial young professionals “Mixer with a Message!” — a packed Uno's Party Room with 45 hearing inspirational Gift of Life Ambassador Neil Dicker. Thank you to our partners: Davai, The Collaborative, AEPi Alumni, Moishe House, AJC Access, the Brandeis Law Society, and the Jewish Exponent. Special thanks to “Chair” — Aaron Alkasov, and “Core Team” organizers Marcus Minsky, Eva Alkasov, David Balcher and Mike Blum. Looking forward to Feb. Ski Leadership Weekend!
See photo slideshow below…
Jewish Young Professionals Get the Message!:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing your story Sunday evening at the Mixer with a Message at UNO.
My husband and I went out with friends afterwards and I was telling them how much you opened my eyes to Gift of Life. I have heard of GOL before and been invited to screening events. I have always been hesitant to be screened because the thoughts through my head are “What will I do if I'm a match?” Well, I am not longer hesitant. After you showed the picture of Arielle, I immediately thought, “She's no different than me. She's practically my age and if she can do it, I can too”. Thank you for opening my eyes and making me less selfish. How can I be concerned about a day or so of the process when those recipients have been through SO much more?!
Thank you again.
You truly are an inspiration and so is Arielle.
Best, RB Muhlenberg College '08
ISRAEL — The “ULTIMATE ALLY” of the US
Ambassador Michael Oren spoke at Penn State and Dickinson, Thursday, March 29, 2012 on the why and how of a special relationship.
Click to watch the video which is 30 minutes plus 30 minutes of Q & A regarding key key foreign policy questions.
2nd Annual Pre-Pesach Shopping Party
Sunday, April 1, 3–5 PM
(US Rt. 1 - Mercer Mall)
For young adults in their 20's
- Israeli Music/Dancing
- Lots of Kosher “goodies”
- FREE tastes of Dark Chocolate Brownie Treats — Finchi by Aunti Rashi, high quality gluten free, nut free and dairy free desserts. See Finchis.com. Kosher for Passover, and all year round.
- Food Demonstrations — quick Pesach cooking ideas for independent young adults
Members of Core Team meet at Shoprite to begin plans for Summer Rafting Leadership Weekend.
Pictured in center - chocolate expert Rachelle Kassai - “Aunti Rashi” from Finchis.com, who shared Kosher dark chocolate brownie treats with scores of young adults and family members who came to the 2nd Annual Pre-Pesach Shopping Party
Fun for Young Adults to Meet
— Congregation Adath Israel, Lawrenceville
— Congregation Beth Chaim, Princeton Junction
— Congregation Beth El, East Windsor
— Congregation Beth El, Yardley
— Congregation Brothers of Israel, Newtown
— Congregation Har Sinai, Pennington
— Congregation Kol Emet, Yardley
— The Jewish Center, Princeton
— Congregation Ohev Shalom, Richboro
— Congregation Shir Ami, Newtown
— Congregation Tifereth Israel, Bensalem
Young adult representatives from the above synagogues are welcome to contact us; for more information: please email Lou4YJLC@aol.com.
Sunday, December 11, 5:30pm
Recognizing TWENTY FIVE Continuous Years of Service…
- Bringing Jewish young adults together
- Providing informal education
- Leadership development
- And involvement in the Jewish community
The 25th Anniversary Celebration Honored…
Rabbi Isaac Leizerowski
— Well respected Orthodox leader, Educator, Torah scribe, consultant on legal divorce issues to Israel, and son of the past Chief Rabbi of Philadelphia, Z''L with the Rebecca Dorr Balcher Memorial Award for outstanding professional leadership in the Jewish Community
Eli Gabay, Esquire
— Philadelphia attorney on the Israeli prosecutorial team of Nazi camp guard “Ivan the Terrible” with the Lisa Sassler Cohen Memorial Award for outstanding volunteer leadership in the Jewish Community
Get Snug in a Raft
Pocono Rafting/Leadership Weekend — August 20–21, 2011
- Join Young Jewish Professionals from throughout the East Coast
- Sunday Rafting down the Lehigh River
- Saturday Night Headliner: Comedian, Author — Joel Chasnoff
- Pool Parties — Volleyball — Mixers
- Sunday Brunch — Israel Update — discussion on Jewish org/Israel advocacy
- Optional: Dorney Park—Wild Water Kingdom
Author of “The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Joins the Israeli Army” — Joel was the warm-up act for Jon Stewart and Lewis Black of The Daily Show. He recently returned from a USO Comedy Tour of Japan and Korea entertaining American Marines. He's performed at more than five hundred colleges, clubs, and Jewish conferences across North America, Israel, and Europe.
FREE Author autographed copy of book for each participant!
For info, please contact Lou4YJLC@aol.com or call 215-750-YJLC (9552)
Ceremony Commemorated 35th Anniversary of Entebbe Rescue & Hero Yoni Netanyahu
(see slideshow below)
- Wed. July 6 — 35th Anniversary Commemoration of Entebbe Rescue took place @ Cong. Mikveh Israel, Phila. (near Liberty Bell)
- Guest Speaker — Elisabeth Gentieu — Yoni Netanyahu's Cheltenham H.S. teacher — (in photo below) — she gave 2 touching personal stories about Yoni (audio/video is being produced)
- Two—fold purpose was to:
- commemorate Entebbe Rescue & Yoni's leadership & sacrifice,
- for young adults to learn, and make it “Their Narrative.”
- Guest Speaker — Daniel Kutner, Consul General of Israel to the Mid—Atlantic Region — story of Yoni Netanyahu & Rescue
- Guest Speaker — Prof. Ed Turzanski, LaSalle Univ., Counter—Terrorism Expert, former US intel. — value/benefits of American—Israel relationship
- Guest Speaker — Eli Gabay, Esq — meaning of Entebbe Rescue as July 4th Israel/American celebration
- Guest Speaker — Lou Balcher — how young professionals can accept Entebbe Rescue/Yoni Story as part of their own Am./Israel Narrative
- Host — Rabbi Albert Gabbai — Mikveh Israel synagogue, site of Yoni Netanyahu Memorial
- Star of David Jewish Bikers — motorcycle club was a unique Honor Guard Program
- Documentary of Entebbe Rescue screened after Ceremony (please see video)
- Numbers attending: Aprox. 80 community leaders, among whom were 25 young professionals organized only once every FIVE YEARS by YJLC — Young Jewish Leadership Concepts & Cong. Mikveh Israel
On July 4th, 1976, on America's Bicentennial celebration, Israeli elite forces carried out a daring and successful IDF rescue operation at Entebbe airport.
Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, who led the ground forces that stormed the terminal, tragically lost his life during the mission. However, he and his team of highly skilled soldiers rescued 103 hostages from Arab and German terrorists and the clutches of Idi Amin's Ugandan forces. The topic of several books and movies, this incredible story of bravery was retold on July 6th at a local commemoration ceremony organized by the Consulate's Director of Academic Affairs and Speaker's Bureau, Lou Balcher, who also was a featured speaker.
CG Kutner gave remarks to the audience of community leaders and young professionals. Speakers included: Eli Gabay, Esq., emcee of the event; Prof. Ed Turzanski, counter-terrorism expert; Rabbi Albert Gabbai, Congregation Mikveh Israel; and Elisabeth Y. Gentieu, Yoni's Cheltenham High School English teacher.
YJLC & Drexel Hillel Leaders meet
Israeli Film Director Dan Wolman
On Saturday, March 5, 2011, YJLC and Drexel Hillel leaders gathered with Film Director Dan Wolman and heard his insights on the making of the film Gei Oni — Valley of Fortitude. The film is about 1880's post-pogrom Russian Jewish immigration to Palestine, and the hardships of building a life in pre-state Israel.
The YJLC participation was organized by Core Team leader Shaw Levin, pictured extreme right, standing over left shoulder of film director Wolman.
Are You Interested in Building the Jewish Community through Peer Engagement?
A non-profit organization with 25 years continuous service in young leadership programming needs a few good young adults with entrepreneurial spirit for volunteer service in a few key positions. Business and Social Work grad students can get invaluable real-life experience. Stipends may be available.
If this catches your interest, please send a cover letter and your resume to Lou4YJLC@aol.com
Painless "Tzedakah" - A "Righteous Act" of Charity and a Chanukah Blast!
Imagine making a $5 contribution and having it multiplied 200 or 2,000 times with other participating young professionals. In Honor of Magen David Adom being finally accepted as an International Red Cross agency, YJLC gives you the chance to make a difference with a $5 gift.