New Partnership Aims to Expand Schools in Experiential Jewish Genealogy Program

"My Family Story" 2013 event, photo by Nir Shaanani.
“My Family Story” 2013 event, photo by Nir Shaanani.

Beit Hatfutsot  – The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv and the Israeli-American Council are partnering to expand the museum’s popular My Family Story, a family heritage program, throughout the United States.

Now in its 20th year, My Family Story is a global educational initiative and an unforgettable Jewish peoplehood experience in which students both research and create art displays of their families’ stories connecting them to their collective Jewish history.

The My Family Story curriculum, created at the International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies at Beit Hatfutsot provides Jewish students ages 12-15 worldwide, a fun, meaningful, personal, experiential and multigenerational Jewish heritage project. Through rigorous research and inspiring creativity, students and their families produce an art installation illustrating their journey into their family roots and their connection to the broader story of the Jewish people. Students also have an opportunity to win a free trip to Israel and partake in an international exhibition of My Family Story displays, celebrated annually at the Beit Hatfutsot Museum in June.

Participating countries in 2014 included Argentina, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United States and Venezuela. Over 13,000 students representing 82 worldwide Jewish institutions joined in, with 42 winners in the international competition.

Currently operating in 23 schools nationwide, the partnership aims to double the number of schools every year, and reach as many young Jews and Israeli-Americans as possible.