As many Diaspora Jewish students in Israel, either on year-long programs or finishing introductory trips such as Birthright, feel they only receive a small piece of the larger story playing out in the country, LAVI offers three-day immersive tours of the West Bank. The tours, geared towards the needs of Diaspora Jews interested in exploring the conflict, seek to offer a deeper approach to understanding the tensions between Jews and Palestinians in the territories, as well as the grievances and aspirations of both peoples. These trips provide a far more extensive and experiential engagement with the Jewish and Palestinian activists on the front lines of the conflict. Such a program appeals to students disappointed with the mainstream pro-Israel community and searching for a more critical yet effective method of supporting Jewish national rights.
During a three-day tour of Israel’s disputed heartland, participants experience some of the most pressing issues driving the conflict and engage with leading Jewish and Palestinian activists. Participants are fully exposed to both narratives and encouraged to try constructing a larger narrative inclusive enough to encompass ostensibly rival positions.
LAVI Programs in Israel
LAVI has established an experiential leadership program for selectively chosen post high school students in Israel for a year. Uniquely designed for young adults able to think “outside-the-box” when confronting the crises facing the State of Israel and broader Jewish world today, ATID tackles some of the most pressing issues in an intellectually stimulating environment that compels students to take the lead in finding solutions to Israel’s current challenges. ATID’s Jerusalem-based programs include leadership workshops, panel discussions, weekend retreats, lectures from renowned public figures and facilitated meetings with Palestinian activists and other representatives of minority communities. The program attracts gap-year students interested in exploring new perspectives and arriving at fresh solutions rooted in our people’s authentic values and ancient national aspirations.
LAVI’s Ḥalutz program pairs motivated volunteers with expanding Jewish communities in Israel’s disputed heartland. By enabling students to participate as pioneers in the building of our homeland, LAVI directly connects Diaspora young adults with those Israelis most passionately committed to the story of the Jewish people. By living and working in communities alongside craftsmen, vintners and farmers, students are able to learn new skills and develop themselves while connecting to both their homeland and to their people’s ancient culture.
The apprenticeship program is organized on a case-by-case basis following personalized interviews of participants and meetings with residents of partner communities. Participants are individually placed with specially selected families at the forefront of today’s Jewish renaissance, creating, building and working the land while deepening their connection to the Jewish people’s rich heritage. Examples of placements include woodworking, organic farming, tanning, shepherding, wine making, painting and glass blowing.
Participants also convene in Jerusalem for specially tailored educational programs and activities on a weekly basis.