Let us introduce you to Ari Feinstein, incoming outreach and engagement coordinator for ISRAEL21c’s Digital Ambassadors Program.
Digital Ambassadors are 18- to 25-year-old North Americans who receive training from ISRAEL21c in social media strategy. Each ambassador spends about two hours a week promoting ISRAEL21c’s content to online communities and key online influencers, earning a $100 monthly stipend.
“Part of my work is outreach, or recruitment, talking about the Digital Ambassadors Program to college students across North America and to community partners on college campuses such as Hillel, Jewish Student Union or Chabad,” says Feinstein. “You don’t have to be Jewish to be part of the program, however. It’s all about developing skills and a closer connection to Israel.
“The other part of my work is engagement, keeping our ambassadors involved and excited about the program and making sure they have a connection to ISRAEL21c and that they feel supported through this work.”
Newly relocated to Chicago, the 30-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, has been passionate about Israel education since serving as an Israel Teaching Fellow several years ago in Rishon LeZion.
Feinstein had his first introduction to Israel on the Young Judaea Year Course following high school, 2004 to 2005. He came back as a Teaching Fellow after college, and then lived in Jerusalem from 2012 to 2013 while earning his master’s degree in Jewish education at Hebrew Union College.
Feinstein then worked in San Francisco at the Jewish Community Federation’s teen philanthropy program. The recent move to Chicago – where his wife, Rachel Mylan, started a new job at the Jewish United Fund – brings him back into Israel education through The iCenter, the national hub for developing and supporting Israel education.
The iCenter introduced Feinstein to ISRAEL21c, one of its partners. “I have a unique opportunity to bridge the two organizations together,” says Feinstein.
His goal is to recruit a total of 50 Digital Ambassadors for the coming school year’s cohort.
“I’d like to see some longevity in our ambassadors, people who want to continue doing it year after year. Those who enjoy it and are good at it will want to stay and I want to help make sure they feel that way,” says Feinstein.
“We’re thrilled to have Ari on board. He’s a professional on the highest level,” says Nathan Miller, ISRAEL21c’s director of digital engagement.
Miller explains that the Digital Ambassadors program was started in 2014 “to bring in young people who are passionate about the work we do at ISRAEL21c and engage them in spreading the stories that we cover about the people, accomplishments and places of Israel.”
Miller says that ambassadors across the United States and in Israel “have an opportunity to work directly with me and my strategic communications team, and with Pearl Kane, ISRAEL21c’s organizational consultant.”
“For students who want a uniquely apolitical experience learning about Israel and gaining skills in online media, 21c’s Ambassador Program is a must,” says Kane. “Ari will add a layer of support and guidance that is a real plus.”
“The program also is an opportunity for them to build professional skills and connect with each other — a network of people across political lines who share a common love for Israel and want to share it with the world,” says Miller.
For more information about the Digital Ambassadors program, contact Feinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.