Jason Lustig, 24, recently received his MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He also works to build ImpactAliyah into a stronger and more sustainable movement of students who want to move to Israel and make a difference. As an undergraduate at Brandeis, Jason studied Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and wrote about the Hebraist movement in 1930s Berlin for his senior thesis. Jason was also a founder of an academic undergraduate journal on the history of Zionism and Israel, called Chalav U'Dvash, and was an intern at the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. Jason lives in Waltham, MA.
ImpactAliyah operates by building communities of Israel activists on college campuses throughout North America who are emboldened to ask and search for answers to the simple question "how can I best contribute to Israel?" These communities are built around 10 day winter-break Focus trips to Israel, where students engage with Israel's opportunities and challenges. During the semester prior to the trip, ImpactAliyah communities build the trip's content, design its programs and work towards outcomes that will contribute to Israel. In the semester following the winter trip, students cultivate the connections they build on the program, and bring back programs which will serve to expose the greater campus community to the challenges and opportunities they learned about on the trip. We see this as a way of building a community of leaders who connect to Israel in a deep and meaningful way, and serve as a bridge between Israel and the American Jewish community.