Matan Hoffman (ayanot), International Coordinator
Israeli Society Today has become fragmented and faces the disintegration of social values and Zionism. Focused on a materialistic, competitive, and achievement-oriented society, social intolerance has become the norm. Increasing portions of the Israeli people, feeling disconnected from their Jewish heritage, have distanced themselves from Jewish values.
Our Goal is to create a living ‘Bet Midrash’, that deals with the question of how to build a better society. We are trying to examine how Jewish tradition and values are relevant to reforming the public sphere in Israel today. We aim to create a cadre of future leaders with an awareness of civic and national responsibilities, suitably trained to sustain social action programs aimed at building a better Israel.
Our Target Population is approximately 70 religious and non-religious 18 -year-old young men and women, from all socio-economic strata, who are willing to postpone military or national service for a year in favor of contributing to the growth and progress of a healthy Israeli society. We see alumni as an integral part of our extended community as we aid and gauge their post-graduation social involvement.
The Aderet Educational Program is part of a national network of Mechinot for social change aiming for Tikkun (repairing) of Israeli society.
The program has 3 main tracks:
The Education Track focuses on national, social, and self-identity building through the acquisition of knowledge about Israeli society and Jewish heritage. An intensive schedule of both formal and informal education provides participants with a store of knowledge about the Jewish people, its history and its present, and its connection with the land. Through trips, guest lecturers, meetings with political, social and economic leaders and social change organizations, and attending /organizing rallies and workshops. Regular classes include: Ethics and Society in the Torah, Midrash in Chazal, Economics and Society, Judaism and Democracy, Culture and Philosophy, ‘Chevrusa’ on Mussar’ (Jewish Morality learned in pairs) Jewish Literature, Hassidism, Philosophy, etc.
A meaningful part of the weekly lessons are conducted by the students themselves, including researching topics of interest, delivering lectures on these topics and inviting guest lecturers. Seminars and workshops are also prepared and delivered by program participants to other institutions including the army.
The Community Activism Track is part of the training process, focusing on providing the tools for participants to integrate into a community and build from within. Trainees live in Moshav Aderet, becoming a part of it, fully participating in community life. Informal relationships are formed, naturally drawing in at-risk childrento be sheltered, tutored, nurtured, and befriended. Together, local residents and participants define the community’s needs. 10-15 weekly hours are dedicated to mutual giving projects in 8 villages in the Ela Valley area, e.g. big brother / sister projects, after school activities, youth club for teenage drop-outs, senior citizen projects as well as special projects in schools.
The Ecological Responsibility Track focuses on awareness and action. Classes, projects, and field trips are dedicated to ecological awareness. Participants live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. In conjunction with Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael and the Israel Archeological Authority, students renovate deteriorating natural sites throughout Israel.
Website - http://www.maderet.org/english/about/