Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition



20 of SA’s finest teens are Diller fellows




On Sunday 18 January the Israel Centre hosted the Diller teen fellows program where they proudly introduced the first group of 20 Diller Teen fellow leaders from South Africa!

This is the first time the prestigious youth leadership programme has ever been offered outside of Israel and North America. The Israel Centre South Africa (ICSA), which is, in effect, the Jewish Agency for Israel’s SA arm, has launched the venture to train future community leaders in partnership with the Helen Diller family foundation.

Diller is an international initiative promoting Jewish teen leadership. Since its inception the program has grown to include nine community partnerships in North America and Israel, and, now, in South Africa – each of which is twinned with an Israeli city.

Diller SA group1 Low

LEFT: The pick of the crop consists of 13 girls 7 boys – shown here with some of the guest speakers – LARGER PICTURE AND NAMES OF THE TWENTY, BELOW

The official launch had been “such an inspirational morning,” Livnat Katz, marketing co-ordinator at IC-SA told Jewish Report afterwards.

The launch, at Beyachad, hosted a litany of honoured Jewish leaders among the guest speakers. The list was headlined by Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein; the director of the SA Board of Jewish Education, Rabbi Craig Kacev; and the national chairman of, (among a host of other communal organisations), the SA Zionist Federation, Avrom Krengel.

Read CREATING FUTURE SA JEWISH LEADERS – on JR Online. Read the background on the renowned Jewish youth leadership programme, an initiative of IC-SA in partnership with the Diller Teen Fellowship

Also present and among the VIP guests and speakers were: IC-SA director Aviad Sela; director of the Diller Foundation, Mark Reisbaum; Senior Israel director of the International Diller Teen programme, Liat Raviv; and Gilad Spitalnik, the Diller Teen fellows co-ordinator.

Tough selection criteria to find cream of crop

The final 20 pupils were selected after a rigorous recruitment process, says IC-SA spokesman Livnat Katz. The large number of aspiring applicants had to whittled down to 20 best of the best. To qualify, pupils had to:

  • Diller - logoBe entering Grade 11 in 2015;
  • Complete a comprehensive application form;
  • Provide two references from teachers, mentors, rabbis, youth leaders, etc. – not parents, family members, or personal friends;
  • Attend a three-hour-long group activity-based interview (with the aim of seeing how the applicants interacted with each other, took initiative, showed creativity, worked in a group, and work within a larger team;
  • The applicants were then evaluated on their behaviour, interaction and the answers they gave to questions; and
  • Small groups of between two and three applicants then attend a 15-minute long group interview.

The selection panel then chose the students whom they felt were the best of the bunch. But the process didn’t end there…

“The students we chose first needed the approval of their schools before we could accept them onto the programme,” says Livnat Katz.

Katz told Jewish Report that the programme will not be exclusively for King Davidians, despite the fact that the pilot year has been.

“This year we only had King Davidians, a mix from Linksfield and Victory Park,” she explains. The programme will be expanded to other schools in future.

And… the winners are… SEE BELOW PIC…

Diller SA group1 Low ABOVE: The first twenty SA Diller Teen Fellows, in no particular order, are: Adam Sandler, Adina Davidovitz; Amanda Gamsu; Amy Deldman; Ariel Kahanovitz; Chadd Silver; Cheyney Travis; Dalya Abadi; Daniel Shainfeld; Daniel Shwartz; Deena Katzen; Gabi Lipshitz; Noah Tradonsky; Roni Katz; Tyler Richter; Jessa Marx; Liegh Sher; Yakira Sheperd; Tori Ichikowitz; and Carley Friedman.

Continue Reading


  1. Denis Solomons

    Jan 26, 2015 at 11:05 am

    ‘Sure we need young leaders .

    SA Diller Teen Fellows is a good thing .

    The USA and Israel need to be involved .

    A Hashekoach to the youth of today .’

  2. Denis Solomons

    Jan 26, 2015 at 11:06 am

    ‘The community needs young leaders.

    SA Diller Teen Fellows appears to be a good thing !

    We live in interesting times .

    SA , Israel and the USA ; what a combination !’

  3. Choni

    Jan 27, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    ‘What? No Joshuah Broomberg.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.