Shomer Achi Strategy

North American college students will participate in community service initiatives in their local communities and in Israel, while Israeli college students will also participate in local community service initiatives and initiatives in America. Shomer Achi will foster leaders in both Diaspora and Israeli communities, address social issues in both communities, promote people-based rather than location-based connections, place large emphasis on responsibility and accountability to the local and larger community, and will acclimate a new generation of young Jews to the donor and philanthropic world. Through such mechanisms, Shomer Achi will address the aforementioned challenges. Essentially we propose to use Israelis as a surrogate for Israel, and American Jews as a surrogate for the Diaspora community, enabling students to build a personal connection with their international peers in an effort to strengthen the larger Jewish Kehilla. Shomer Achi will capitalize on the opportunity that Birthright provides by including a social service element and enhanced people to people programming that lends itself to more sustainable community connections. Additionally, the growing popularity of service programs, such as Alternative Breaks and AVODAH, suggests that students are willing to give their time by volunteering. It is in light of this that Shomer Achi can provide an outlet for maximizing the impact of already successful Israel programs by combining these two elements: the social service and person to person connection.