08/24/2012 12:07 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2012

Building Global Community: Teens Explore Jewish and International Peoplehood (PHOTOS)

As part of the selective Diller Teen Fellows 15-month international leadership program, delegations of Jewish teens from six North American communities have just returned from their summer experience in Israel.

Organized by Diller Teen Initiatives, a program of the Helen Diller Family Foundation, the Diller Teen Fellows program pairs cohorts of incoming high school juniors from North American communities with cohorts of Israeli students their same age. This summer, 120 North American students visited Israel as part of the program. Through educational workshops, weekend retreats and the creation and implementation of social service projects in each partner community throughout the year, the Diller Teen Fellows program empowers participants to be engaged, effective leaders with a strong understanding of their Jewish identity and respect for Jewish pluralism and peoplehood.

For the past two years, I've devoted a considerable amount of my time to the Diller Teen Fellows. Last year, I was a participant, and I'm about to complete my year as Junior Counselor for the Diller Teen Fellows 2012 San Francisco delegation.

Building International Community: Exploring Jewish and International Peoplehood