Special connections: Bay Area group visits JCF projects in Israel

In Israel it is rare for young secular and religious Jews to come together under one roof. But one program is working to change that: Yachad Modi’in School, a groundbreaking program geared toward building Jewish pluralism in Israel. The school is part of Yachad Modi’in Center for Jewish Identity, which the Federation supports through its Gvanim Action Projects.

Typically in Israel, schools are segregated as either religious or secular, and young people of each community do not come together until they enter the army. But social change has enabled Yachad Modi’in to choose a different path. The school brings together students from both the religious and secular communities, where they become friends, build relationships, and get to know each others' families. The Yachad Modi’in school emphasizes building an integrated and respectful community, and so far this new model has been widely successful. The school represents a new way of thinking and learning in Israel, and the opportunities and benefits of this new model may go a long way in creating a more connected society.

A recent trip coordinated by the Israel Center's Israel Travel program visited the school. Congregation Beth Jacob's Chanukah Trip was able to experience the work being done at Yachad Modi’in in an up close and inspiring visit. "I thought it was pretty cool considering there are no other schools like it in Israel," said 16-year-old Zoe Levine Sporer of Congregation Beth Jacob. "I think it's a good thing they are mixing kids earlier." Seeing first hand the important work that JCF supports in Israel is life-changing. Returning participants report that their travel to Israel had a profound impact on their connection not only to Israel but also to their Jewish heritage.

If you are interested in planning a visit for your group, please contact Sara Bronstein, Director of Israel Travel at the Israel Center, at 415.512.6237 or sarab@sfjcf.org.

Categories: Israel


February 18, 2009


The Federation