The Sapir Center and ‘HaMidrasha at Oranim‘ have developed a model of an “Israeli ecosystem” aimed at creating local community cultural and spiritual life that generate a sense of belonging and meaning inspired by Jewish -Israeli culture.

The model includes two possible means of implementation:

  1. An Urban Model – in which a core group of young people, graduates of different education programs of ‘HaMidrasha at Oranim’, settle together in an urban location and create a Jewish-Israeli community life that is also aimed at the surrounding neighbors and community.
  2. A Rural Model – in which Jewish culture and community life are derived from local resources.

The challenge is to create new and diverse Jewish-Israeli centers, with the community at their center, offering individuals a focus of identity, belonging, and commitment. The next challenge is to create a network of Israeli communities that share common values and a sense of belonging.

Goals

  1. To renew the idea of community and create organic-social frameworks in which individuals and families can express their talents, realize their values, give and receive, create and belong.
  2. To encourage young people to create community life that influences its surroundings.
  3. To develop Jewish-Israeli cultural life in a pluralistic, diverse, and inclusive manner.
  4. To train activists and a leadership that will lead the Jewish-Israeli cultural life in the education systems, communities, and municipal domain.

Target Audience

  • Young graduates of the educational frameworks of the Midrasha in Oranim
  • Urban and rural communities
  • Israeli Jews seeking community life

Expected Results

The project seeks to create active community life that influences its surroundings and creates circles of belonging. Two models were developed – urban and rural – that are intended to be replicated and used in other places in Israel.

Work Processes

Haifa

The ecosystem idea evolved from a community of young people (the Carmel Community), graduates of HaMidrasha youth programs, who settled in Haifa’s Hadar neighborhood, and began working there to strengthen the local area, , both out of a concern for municipal and national resources and out of a sense of belonging, by celebrating the Jewish holidays, shabbat ceremonies, Batei Midrash, and others.

Mateh Asher Regional Council

In this local authority, the model combines educational programs of HaMidrasha (e.g. a preparatory program prior to IDF service) with educational-community programs (a Beit Midrash facilitators program, Jewish-Israeli leadership programs, programs for the Council’s professional personnel). Additional programs developed include Beit Midrash programs, holidays, shabbat celebrations, bar- and bat-mitzva year programs and ceremonies. The combination of all these strengthens pluralistic Jewish-Israeli community culture and discourse.