Breaking News: Young Judaea Moves Closer Toward Operating Independently

The Zionist Youth Movement Has been under the auspices of Hadassah for more than 70 years

NEW YORK (April 20, 2012)  - Young Judaea inked an agreement this week that positions it "a short time away" from becoming an independent organization, the youth movement said today in a joint announcement with Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, which has been its parent and sole sponsor since 1967.

Following Hadassah's historic decision in June to create an independent Young Judaea, the new founding board of the youth movement worked with Hadassah on an accord that addresses all issues for Young Judaea to become autonomous, such as transitional support, property and asset transfers, trademark use, and the continued strategic partnership between the two organizations.

"We are now just a short time away from bringing Young Judaea to full independence," said Hadassah National President Marcie Natan, adding that both organizations are focused on ensuring the smoothest transition possible and the youth movement's future success. "We at Hadassah are very excited about our continued support of and involvement with Young Judaea, which is well known for developing many of the foremost Jewish leaders in the United States and in Israel."

Young Judaea, the world's premiere Zionist youth movement, reaches more than 5,000 Jewish youth each year from grade school through post-college. Its programs include five Jewish camps nationwide, including its national teen leadership camp, Tel Yehudah; year-round activities such as Alternative Winter Break, which gives students the opportunity to engage in social action during school breaks; and such Israel offerings as Year Course, the leading freshman gap-year program, Taglit-Birthright trips, and WUJS Israel post-college internships and arts programs.

The arrangement is expected to be finalized this summer, when inaugural executive director Simon Klarfeld will take the helm of the 103-year-old youth movement. Klarfeld, whose most recent professional accomplishments include transforming the Hillel at Columbia University, was named to the post in November. Since then, he has been working with the nine-member founding board of Young Judaea to navigate the transition and plan for the future of the movement, which has been associated with Hadassah for more than 70 years.

Young Judaea, the premier Zionist youth movement worldwide, challenges young people from grade school through post-college to become involved in social and educational activities that sharpen their senses of Jewish and Zionist identity. Young Judaea programs include year-round activities; five summer camps -  Camp Judaea, Camp Tel Yehudah, Camp Young Judaea Midwest, Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake and Camp Young Judaea Texas; Alternative Winter Break; Year Course in Israel freshman gap-year program, including its Shalem Modern Orthodox initiative; Israel summer programs for teens, including YJ Discovery, YJ Machon, and I Speak Israel; Taglit-Birthright "To Israel Now" trips; Amirim college summer offerings; and WUJS Israel post-college internship and study programs. For more information, please visit

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