Ateenager from Teaneck is trying to inspire the next wave of Zionists. Josh Steinreich, 17, has created a program that would motivate people to stand up for Israel.
Josh, who recently finished his junior year at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, Yeshiva University High School for Boys, first got the idea at last year’s Yom NCSY, a day filled with lectures on the importance of Israel held at Kibbutz Ma’aleh Hachamisha. Josh attended a speech by a reservist in the Israel Defense Forces. The speaker said, “If you want to stand up with Israel, stand now,” said Josh. “Everyone stood up, of course, but I decided to create an official program.”
|This is the logo of Josh Steinreich’s group of Israel Advocacy. (Designed by Raquel Plaut)|
The program, created in conjunction with NCSY, is called Israel Advocacy.
Under the user name NCSYILF, Josh posts videos on Youtube that focus on different parts of Israeli culture. For example, the program has made videos on topics such as Israeli Independence and Memorial Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, and Gilad Shalit.
Josh created the Gilad Shalit video for a special program ran by NCSY that organized teen learning in the captured soldiers’ honor all over North America. The sponsors plan to produce videos on aliyah, soldiers from foreign countries in the Israeli army, and Tisha B’Av.
“We want to raise awareness about various aspects of Israel to people who wouldn’t have regularly heard about them,” said Josh, who will attend Yeshiva Har Etzion in Israel at the end of the summer. “And people who do know about these topics will learn a little more.”
In addition to making videos, Josh would like to raise money to support two Israeli NCSY programs: Makom Balev, a program similar to NCSY in that it connects Jewish teenagers to their roots and aims to inspire them; and Mashiv Haruach, which, according to its website, aims “to re-inspire Israeli soldiers, to bring back the honor and the passion of the [IDF]” through historical and biblical exposure.
Corrine Malachi, a senior at The Shulamith School for Girls in Brooklyn, is planning to take over after Josh leaves for Israel. “I think it’s very important for everyone to be aware of what is going on in Israel nowadays and how now is the time to speak up, more than ever,” she told The Jewish Standard. “I can’t help but feel grateful to be able to come to this point in my NCSY career where I can step up and show my love for Israel by being able to lead NCSY’s Israel advocacy program.”
Corrine plans to extend NCSY Israel Advocacy’s reach. “I know quite a bit of people from my past few years in NCSY so I will tell them all about Israel Advocacy and hope that they will pass on the message to their friends and on and on.”