Nativ | The Jewish Agency - U.S.

Nativ

Connecting Immigrant Soldiers with their Jewish Roots

Nativ

Nativ is The Jewish Agency for Israel's identity-building program for soldiers in the IDF who are immigrants, feel disconnected from their Jewish roots, or simply want to learn more about Judaism or Zionism.

Each year in the Nativ program, The Jewish Agency works with close to 1,700 immigrant soldiers, many of whom are from the former Soviet Union and looking to reconnect with their heritage. Over the course of four-and-a-half weeks, participants gather to learn, travel through Israel, and share in the observance of both Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

The Nativ experience is cross-denominational, and designed to help support these soldiers in the quest to become more familiar with Jewish culture. After completing the program, many participants choose to pursue an optional extended conversion course.

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PARTICIPANT STORY

“Until the age of five, I wore a crucifix around my neck. I had little knowledge of my Jewish heritage.” – Milena Gershkowitz, 19 years old, Rishon L’zion