About the Sapir Center

The Sapir Center for Jewish Education and Culture was founded in Jerusalem almost five decades ago, in 1974.

Since its inception, the center’s goals have been to connect different groups and sectors within Israeli society, and to strengthen Jewish culture and heritage as a common foundation of knowledge and values.

Guiding Principles

  • Tolerance – study and discussion of Jewish identity from the participants’ personal world and perspective, without imposing any specific view.
  • Pluralism – Sensitivity and attention to a range of diverse views and approaches with which contemporary Jewish identity can be expressed.
  • Education – combatting ignorance and prejudice about Jewish culture.
  • Jewish Peoplehood – viewing the Jews in Israel as an integral part of world Jewry.

At the time of its foundation and during its early years of operation, the Sapir Center was a leading pioneer in the field of Israeli Judaism and, to a large degree, predated the development and dramatic expansion of this field in Israel over the last two decades. Today, the Sapir Center’s unique contribution stems from its broad systemic and strategic view of the field of Israeli Judaism. The Center achieves its goals by initiating innovative programs in conjunction with other organizations active in this field and by supporting projects in the field via four central avenues:

  1. Enhancing existing knowledge in the field through research, evaluation, and mapping – the organizations active in this field operate and reach decisions while equipped with insufficient information. Even after several decades of activity, the picture of potential target audiences, their needs, and characteristics is incomplete. Creating a base of theoretical and applied knowledge is vital for this field’s continued development and its expansion to new directions.
  2. A strategic view of the field and development of new models of activity – organizations in every field tend, naturally and understandably, to remain within their “comfort zone” and to continue with their successful activity for long periods of time. Based on research and evaluation, the Sapir Center makes a unique contribution to the field by identifying and highlighting potential target audiences and new spheres of activity, while designing new models for relevant large-scale activity. The development of new models of activity involves a lengthy process of research, data gathering, mapping, analysis, and creation of new possibilities.
  3. Promoting outcome-based thinking and measuring success – defining goals and expected outcomes of activities and developing benchmarks and tools for measuring their success. The Sapir Center operates in this area via the development of theories of change and logic models for projects and programs in the field of Israeli Judaism and by accompanying evaluation studies of projects and initiatives in which it participates.
  4. Promoting inter-organizational collaborations and pooling resources – most of the field of Israeli Judaism in Israel is made up of relatively small organizations. Collaborations can help organizations with similar objectives achieve their goals. In many cases, infrastructures can be merged, thereby saving expenses. The Sapir Center promotes collaborations between organizations that target similar target audiences.
בניין מרכז ספיר ברובע היהודי בירושלים
קבלת שבת במושב ניר חן, תכנית שריגים
חלון לרוח