There’s no better way to spend the summer. We’ve had a wonderful, enriching experience getting to know these kids and having such a positive impact on them. They became part of our family.host family
Open Hearts Open Homes
Open Hearts Open Homes invites Israeli teens whose lives have been forever changed due to terrorism – the loss of a loved one, living in constant fear of the next attack, not knowing life without sirens – to spend three weeks during the summer enjoying respite, home hospitality, travel camp activities, and fun with American peers.
Impact in Israel
Open Hearts Open Homes has changed the lives of families who are challenged by a traumatic past or who have suffered the impact of terrorism. By all accounts, its therapeutic value is extraordinary and helps many begin the process of psychological healing.
Impact in Northern NJ
To extend this lifeline of support and respite, Open Hearts Open Homes relies on the support of you and the entire Bergen County Jewish community.
- Hosting is a rewarding, life transforming experience. By welcoming a teen into your home, not only do you provide comforting and comfortable surroundings for them, you gain new insight into their experiences and everyday life half a world away.
- Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated. A gift of $6,500 provides a full scholarship for one teen to participate.
Your kindness helped our daughter feel safe and secure during a time of uncertainty. She has grown stronger and more confident, and is looking forward to a hopeful future.mother of a participant
Read about 2019’s teens here
Meet This Year’s Teens!Erica Danziger | MON, JUN 17, 2019
We are so excited to announce this year’s Open Hearts Open Homes teens. They are a group of well-deserving kids who have all suffered at the hands of terrorism in…read more
Teens Bond with Therapeutic Animals and Each Othernpgadmin | WED, MAY 01, 2019
The Open Hearts Open Homes teens of 2019 recently visited with the Therapeutic Animal Center in Sderot, Israel and also took the opportunity to start to get to know each…read more
Open Hearts Open Homes 2019 – Journal Entry #1: The teens arrive!Erica Danziger | TUE, AUG 27, 2019
The Israeli teens may have just left New Jersey after three weeks together with us but our memories of our time together with them are still vivid and bright. Here’s…read more
Open Hearts Open Homes 2019 – Journal Entry #2: Fun in the SunErica Danziger | MON, AUG 26, 2019
Journal Entry #2: Fun in the Sun Along the way of the three weeks together, the Israeli teens from the Open Hearts Open Homes program found their footing in New…read more
Open Hearts Open Homes 2019 – Journal Entry #3 – Saying Goodbye but not ForeverErica Danziger | MON, AUG 26, 2019
Journal Entry #3 – Saying Goodbye but not Forever After a never-long-enough three weeks together, our host families and teens had to say goodbye. The ripple effect of this year’s…read more
Sponsor at teen and cover all costs for one Israeli teen’s round trip travel and participation in our spectacular program.
Treat our teens and community to a catered Friday night dinner and Shabbat service.
Provide a fabulous three-day, two-night stay at a JCC-affiliated sleep away camp.
Day Trip Dynamo:
Sponsor one of the deluxe day trips that makes this program so exciting, such as Six Flags Great Adventure, a trip to the Jersey Shore and Aquarium or an Off-Broadway show in NYC.
Sponsor a local fun day for our teens, such as Tree Top Rope Course, Escape Room, White Water Rafting or Ninja Warrior Course and a group meal out.
Treat our teens to a fabulous American-style 4th of July party – complete with games, grilled goodies and festive seasonal decor.
Gift a souvenir t-shirt, OHOH insulated lunch box and reusable water bottle to each of our teens to have as a keepsake.
Pizza Party Champion:
Treat the teens to a pizza party — always delicious!
Ice Cream Party Booster:
Sweeten their day with a treat at a local creamery.
Friends of OHOH:
Contribute to the program’s overall experience. All gifts are appreciated.
Or send check payable to JCCNNJ/OHOH.
Elana Prezant, OHOH
JCC of Northern New Jersey
50 Eisenhower Drive
Paramus, NJ 07652
The advance warning systems failed.
No alarms sounded.
A bomb landed in Orel’s backyard!
These are the stories we hear from the teenagers living in Israel at the border of Gaza.
We know you share with us the feelings of dread and helplessness as we hear stories of ongoing violence and terror in Israel. We visit Israel and meet young people similar in every way to our own children. These teens lives have been devastated by hatred and violence and it breaks our hearts.
But there is a way for you to make a difference. Open Hearts Open Homes is a program through the JCC of Northern NJ to help bring comfort to Israeli teens affected by terrorism to our community for the summer. Twenty teens are selected to experience hope and healing during three weeks each summer.
Please help us make this 19th summer an outstanding one for these Israeli teens, like Orel, and our community.
If you have any questions about Open Hearts Open Homes or are interested in hosting an Israeli teen this summer, please contact Elana Prezant at (201) 805-2004 or [email protected]Contact Us for More Info