As a movement, we believe that all our members should have the opportunity to experience life in our Jewish homeland. And that’s really what the Shnat Hachshara program is all about. Shnat Hachshara is the flagship program of Marom and our South American youth movements – Noam and Chazit ha’Noar. Its purpose is to better understand various elements of Israeli society and to experience different aspects of the movement’s ideology. In 2015, we brought together 66 youth group counselors from Latin America. As we look forward to the start of Shnat 2016 in February, we take a moment to look back on the highlights of last year. We launched Shnat 2015 with a movement identity seminar where we took time to align ourselves with the purpose of the program, understand better why we were here and what to expect, and begin to ask the questions that we would be exploring throughout the year. We spent the next four months at the Machon Lemadrichim. Together with members of other youth movements, we delved into issues of intellectual pluralism, shared ideas about Judaism and Zionism and developed leadership skills. We also enjoyed weekly activities with the Marom team, treks throughout Israel and a moving trip to Poland. After our time at the Machon, we spent the next six months exploring different elements of Israeli society and thinking about the role we could have – as individuals and as a movement – in shaping it and making it a better place. We immersed ourselves in kibbutz life, got a taste of Tzahal through the gadnaprogram, spent meaningful time giving back and volunteering in different organizations, and celebrated the holidays together, using them as an educational tool to help us build our identity both as we relate to ourselves and the movement. To the 82 chanichim joining us for Shnat 2016 we say: open your eyes, open your minds and open your hearts. Prepare to be inspired!