What is My Family Story?
My Family Story (MFS), now in its 25th anniversary year, is a meaningful and fun Jewish heritage program that involves 20,000 Jewish youth from over 30 countries around the globe. Students research their roots and use their creative skills to design original, artistic installations that capture the essence of their family history. Top entries are selected for display in an international exhibition, with the winners receiving a free plane ticket to Israel to participate in the opening.
My Family Story goes beyond the typical family tree. It connects the younger generation, between 10-14 years old, to their personal stories, their family stories, and the broader story of the Jewish people.
My Family Story is one of Beit Hatfutsot’s most innovative flagship programs. Through a yearlong curriculum, young participants in Israel and worldwide Jewish communities embark on a fun and meaningful, personal, experiential, international and multigenerational Jewish heritage project. Through rigorous research and inspiring creativity, the students produce a final art display illustrating their personal exploration into their family roots and connection to the greater story of the Jewish people.
How Does My Family Story Add Value to Your Community?
- Connects Jewish youth from Israel and around the world to their story and to the broader story of the Jewish people through the creation of a roots art project that reflects the research conducted as individuals and as families.
- Strengthens Jewish identity and a sense of belonging and engagement with the Jewish people.
- Establishes a dialogue between Jewish people from around the world and Israel through an experiential educational encounter.
- Provides a creative and hands-on method for sharing Jewish heritage, promoting the historical memory of the Jewish people and creating a sense of Jewish peoplehood.
- Offers an interactive family heritage program.
- Engages participants via a series of tasks and goals based on the Project Based Learning teaching technique with home-based activities.
- Furnishes an opportunity for Jewish peers to connect around the world and in Israel.
- Supplies your institution with the chance to highlight a Jewish peoplehood event to your local community.
- Organizes the chance for your community’s art displays to become part of Beit Hatfutsot’s international museum exhibition.
There is a basic registration fee of $150 per school to participate in the program. This modest fee helps cover a small percentage of the costs while assuring the future development of the program. That said, we do not want the cost to prevent any institution from participating. If needed, please contact us so we can come to a different agreement to participate.
- How long does MFS take?
My Family Story is designed to work for your class schedule. It can be run over the course of a few meetings/lessons, or over the entire school year. Contact Lindsay at [email protected] to discuss further.
- Where do I get started?
Click here to find out the first steps. (link to ‘Lessons and Materials’ section of ‘Getting Started and Materials Overview’)
- Can I see projects from past years to get ideas?
Absolutely! Click here to see past winning projects.
- Can I speak with another MFS educator in my area?
Please contact Lindsay at [email protected] to be connected with a fellow MFS educator near you.
- I’m not able to run MFS this year, but I still want to get involved. How do I do this?
If you’re not able to complete the full MFS program this year, your students can interview family members and upload their family stories in any language to our online story collection here). There are already 16,500 stories in the online story collection telling everyday stories of Jews around the world, all uploaded by students. Click here for more information.
- What is the Judging Criteria? (link to the ‘Creative Display’ section)
Please CLICK HERE for Judging criteria information
Beit Hatfutsot Staff Contact for My Family Story
Director of International English Programming
Latin America and Spain
Coordinator and Founder of My Family Story, and Facilitator for Latin America and Spain
Director of Educational Hebrew Program Development
Europe and the Former Soviet Union
Coordinator of My Family Story in Europe and the FSU
Director of International Programs Department