Young Jewish Leadership Concepts (YJLC) is an independent non-profit young professionals network, established in 1986 in order to provide social events, travel opportunities, and community service activities for Jewish young adults.
The primary goals of YJLC are to:
- Providing quality programs to bring Jewish young adults together
- Building a sense of community for young professionals
- Educating and enhancing a strong connection to Israel for young adults
- Providing leadership training, direction and entre into the organized Jewish community for Jewish young professionals
Where Are We and What Do We Do?
YJLC is based in the Greater Philadelphia area, and has an outreach network of over 14,000 Jewish young adults around the US and Canada, of which more than 7,000 are in the Delaware Valley area (PA, NJ & DE), and 2,000 in the Greater NY area.
Programs include social dance parties, theater parties, weekend escapes (Presidents' Day Weekend Pocono ski escape and July 4th Pocono rafting weekend escape), community service events (including Fall annual blood drive, Pesach visitation to geriatric center, and Spring Special Olympics program), and educational seminars on Israel and the Jewish community.
Success of individual participants includes more than 100 Jewish young adults who have found their mates at YJLC events. Hundreds more may have found Jewish spouses at our programs without sharing their successes with us.
The foundation program of YJLC is its nationally acclaimed Israel Encounter - National Young Professionals Tour. Israel Encounter is a comprehensive 14 day adventure tour program which is capped off by an optional 4 day Eilat Resort Escape.
Israel Encounter is an alternative tour program without a political or organizational "mission" agenda. The program is differentiated from other Jewish organizational tours by no fundraising / solicitations and no social service visitations to enhance fundraising opportunities.
Since its inception in 1986, Israel Encounter has received referrals from the WZO / Israel Experience Center, community Shlichim, and Jewish Centers. Israel Encounter was initiated with the help and continues to get assistance from the Israel Government Tourism Office.
The toll-free number for YJLC and Israel Encounter is 800-223-YJLC (9552). In Pennsylvania, you may call 215-750-YJLC (9552).
The co-founders of YJLC are Jocelyne and Lou Balcher. Jocelyne, a graphic designer, whose family escaped from Cairo, Egypt when she was only 5 years old, gave YJLC its start with a polished professional image. Lou has been organizing Jewish young adult groups since his days at Ohio State Hillel and Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Currently Director of Academic Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia, Lou served as an Education Director for a suburban Philadelphia synagogue, Outreach Coordinator for Gratz College's 1000 plus Jewish Community High School, and regional membership director for B'nai B'rith where he specialized in organizing Singles and young adult groups.
According to Mr. Balcher, YJLC provides an important need for the Jewish community, giving young adults the opportunity to get "connected," and to provide leadership for the coming generations.