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The Sister City Program is dedicated to raising up the next generation of peace makers. Many of our projects focus on helping youth and young adults establish relationships with our Jewish friends in Israel. Taking this effort a step further, we try to mentor our young people and help them discover how their unique skills, talents, and interests can be used to strengthen and promote both of our cities. Currently we are sponsoring four young adults in our Sister City Next Generation Project.
Gracie in Israel
My name is Gracie and I am 21 years old. I was born in Joliet, Illinois in 1997 and since then I have not stopped moving. I was born too two missionary parents who were constantly on the move. I am one of 7, practically a baseball team. We did missionary work in Mexico, India and Romania. As we grew in the ministry,, our connection with God and his teachings grew strong. As hardships came on our faith and family, we lost that strength. All the kids grew older and what once was our best knowledge became an old memory. I started in high school trying to relight that fire and seek God in a way I have never before. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know the whys and the where behind the stories I have always heard. I made the decision to move to Florida with my grandma who had a great connection with people from Israel and those who support Israel. I got super- interested in a project that some from this area have done called the Zealous Project with Bridges for Peace. The Sister City Program chose to support me as their candidate for the Zealous Project. In my leap of faith, I built my confidence in skills like teaching kids and learning things about how God puts people in your path to help your walk with him. I am so excited to further my faith by living and serving in the land of Israel. God's love is great and his knowledge is bountiful, and I am ready to take it all in . Gracie begins her service in July 2019.
Alina in Israel
Alina Bonventre traveled to Israel with the Sister City Ambassador Tour in 2016. This was Alina's second trip to the Israel, having gone with her family when she ten-years-old. Alina was raised with a love of Israel that has become second nature for her. For over ten years as a member of Project: Restoration Ministry, Alina participated in countless events and projects designed to bless Israel. Alina is a talented dancer who has used her gift of dance to bless the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, and she hopes to continue to do so through her participation in the Bridges for Peace one-year Zealous Program beginning in July, 2018.
Jordan in Israel
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Jordan Miles traveled with the Sister City Peace Ambassador Tour 2016. Upon visiting the Jerusalem Headquarter of Bridges for Peace and seeing the work they do with the new olim (Jewish Immigrants to Israel), he decided to apply for the BFP Zealous Program. He was one of ten young adults selected to live and work in Israel for one year as part of the BFP ministry to the new Jewish arrivals to Israel. Update (August 2018): Jordan is returning for a second year in Israel serving as a a web assistant.
Jordan in "The Jerusalem Post"
Mikayla in Ukraine
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Mikayla Goetz traveled with the Sister City Ambassador Tour 2016. Upon graduating from Coastal Carolina University in May 2017 with a BFA in Acting, Mikayla and four other CCU graduates formed a new theater company called Boots on the Ground. Mikayla has decided to pair her love of Israel and the Jewish people with her training as an actress and the mission of her new theater company. She lived in Ukraine in January and February 2018 as a representative of Ezra International and Boots on the Ground Theater Company. Ezra's mission is to help impoverished, sick, and vulnerable Jewish people return home to Israel. (The Hebrew term for this is "Aliyah."). Mikayla embedded herself with the Ezra representatives in Ukraine and gathered stories from the Jewish people they are helping. Her theater company, Boots on the Ground is now producing a feature-length film that reveals the massive humanitarian efforts involved in finding and re-locating poor and oppressed Jewish people in Ukraine. The goal of this project is to increase awareness of this aliyah work and to help gain support for this effort.
Learn more about "ALIYAH" the Film
Previous "Next Generation" Representatives
Cameron in Israel
Cameron Watson is a recent high school graduate. He has been pursuing an undergraduate degree with Southeastern University while working full-time. Cameron helped and participated in the Sister City sponsored holocaust museum in 2015. His experiences with World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors impacted his life and understanding of Israel and the Jewish people. With the support of The Sister City Program, Cameron traveled to Israel in July 2018 as part of the Bridges for Peace "Call to Zion" program.