Magshimim: Israeli youth step up when their community needs them most.

Magshimim, a Jewish Youth Philanthropy program in Israel, has been at the forefront of our minds in light of the tragic events taking place there over the last three weeks. Hosted at the Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC) and a participant in the Honeycomb’s Foundation Board Incubator, Magshimim runs in 15 locations across Israel. These teens know what it means to be resilient.

In the wake of the October 7th attacks, four program sites have been forced to evacuate. Magshimim teens and their families fled to safe rooms and shelters for days; already thinking about how they wanted to help.

Adi Romem, Director of Magshimim at IACC, gave a first-hand account of what it was like to see Israeli youth “take up arms” in their own way.  “Watching them was amazing. To see the hundreds of teens come to help was just beautiful. At one point, one of the loudest singings of Hatikvah I have ever heard, in the middle of all this.”  In all her years of involvement with Magshimim, this was one of Adi’s proudest moments.

So many teens reached out to their local governments about ways to be involved that municipalities began to allow these young Israelis to assist in specific locations. As soon as they were given permission, teens from different communities showed up to give their time making sandwiches, cleaning, packaging goods, and taking care of community members in so many other ways. The idea of service is so deeply engrained in the Magshimim teens that they were quick to mobilize when there was a need for action. Israel’s youth are born with a sense of service and duty, and today these Magshimim participants are putting that sense into action all across the country.

Adi continued her communication with teens in Netanya about their involvement in an advisory capacity, but said that the teens were spearheading the action. Mostly, she wanted to make sure they were as safe as they could be.  “First the [national] government said it was up to the local government, then the local government said it was ok, wow, the teens could not wait to jump in.”

Parents of teens in the program spoke with Adi, expressing how the Magshimim program changed their children’s lives, and gave them a purpose. “You do not fight darkness, you only need to keep spreading the light,” Adi said.

The news from Israel continues to be heartbreaking, and yet, like the ner tamid (eternal flame) over the ark, there is light shining bright. The youth are showing that they are ready to give, ready to work, and ready to rebuild. They truly are, Magshimim: Fulfillers.

The Honeycomb Foundation Board Incubator is generously funded by Laura Lauder and the Maimonides Fund.



Written by

Matt Bergman

Communications and Engagement Manager