Main Areas of Activity
Wishing to implement as much as possible the fundamental cause of the “Shalom Benenu” organization – creating a connection and a dialogue between religious and irreligious Jews – we, members of the organization, seek to work in places where we can achieve the best possible results.
Without a doubt, one of these places is the Chabad House. Chabad Houses are active all around the world, and specifically in the Far East. Thousands of backpackers (most of whom are irreligious) arrive at the Chabad Houses seeking an island of sanity and tranquility among the chaos on the streets. There they find the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s emissaries and acquire a different and more positive view of religious Jews. The irreligious backpackers and the Lubavitchers get to know each other, forming a connection rarely seen back in Israel, a connection that makes bridging between the two different worlds possible.
The “Shalom Benenu” organization recognized the potential of Chabad activity throughout the Globe and in India in particular, and decided to invest its resources in the establishment and development of Chabad Houses in this country. The organization raises funds for the activity of existing Chabad Houses in India, and for the establishment of new Chabad Houses all over the country. In addition, the organization is in charge of food shipments delivery to the Chabad Houses when the activity seasons begin, and before Holidays and major events. We, the members of “Shalom Benenu”, also make sure the Chabad Houses activity is recognized by Israel’s official institutions, the Israeli embassy in India and the various government ministries. Our main goal is to make both religious and irreligious Jews feel that we are all part of one single nation, siblings within the same family, and to remove barriers dividing the different sectors of Israeli society.
Some of the organization’s activities for the last decade:
Shalom Beinenu's agenda includes the expansion of existing programs and the implementation of new ones.
- Thousands of people, both religious and non-religious, approached Shalom Beinenu for information and expressed interest in participating in home study groups.
- Shalom Beinenu organized home study groups for over a thousand participants in
various cities throughout Israel.
- Shalom Beinenu published the first pamphlet in the "Et Leehov" (A Time to Love) series. This multi-faceted trilogy combines a collection of traditional sources and Israeli Literature on the subject of "Ahavat Yisrael" (the love of Israel) that will help people reach a higher level of mutual understanding.
- In cooperation with the Knesset Chairman and the Minister for Social and Diaspora
Affairs, Shalom Beinenu granted a special award to "Elul" - a Jewish studies school for religious and non-religious students.
- Shalom Beinenu granted its' first annual award to Ezra U'marpeh, an organization headed by Rabbi Firer, which voluntarily provides medical advice and other services to all Jews regardless of their religious commitment.
- Shalom Beinenu sponsored a nationwide essay competition for Israeli school children on the subject of "Ahavat Yisrael". Several hundred children, from various ethnic backgrounds, submitted their essays. Computers were awarded to the authors of the best essays. The closing event enjoyed exposure on the national children's TV channel.
Projects - 2001
Home Study Groups
Shalom Beinenu organizes home study groups on a weekly basis, each one in a different city through out Israel. The warm atmosphere generated in these small groups encourages communication and open-mindedness among participants who come from a variety of backgrounds.
Interactive Youth Newspaper
The internet presents a unique opportunity where ultra orthodox, religious, traditional and non-religious youth can meet. Shalom Beinenu will create an interactive website suitable for Jewish youth in Israel that will include: opinion columns, forums on various topics, competitions, prizes, etc. Visitors will be able to communicate with each other enabling them to learn about their differences and how to enjoy their common interests together.
"Et Leehov" - A Trilogy on Ahavat Yisrael (The Love of Israel)
This multi-faceted collection of traditional sources and Israeli Literature on the subject of "Ahavat Yisrael" is another tool that we will make available to the public. It will help people reach a higher level of mutual understanding. The initial pamphlet in this trilogy, based on Hassidic sources, was published in 1999. Two more pamphlets, one designed for the non-religious and the other for the ultra-orthodox community, will follow in 2001.
"Optimism"- TV Series
Using mass media, Shalom Beinenu is developing a 13 part documentary TV series which will expose the public to our activities and those of similar organizations. Each of the programs will be aired for 30 minutes and will be broadcast on one of Israel's main channels. The series will commence during the upcoming broadcasting season.
Shalom Beinenu will initiate opinion polls to identify the trend of interaction between religious and non-religious communities and the effectiveness of its activities. We will share the data with other organizations to enable them to design future programs more effectively.
Common Roots is an educational program geared towards boys and girls ages 11-13. Participants will benefit from a structured program, which will include research and lectures on their different family backgrounds. The children will visit each other's homes, meeting and interacting with parents and grandparents of their respective ethnic origins. The first Common Roots project will began in February 2001, in conjunction with the Ra'anana Municipality.
The children will produce a short film, a synopsis of the project, which will be broadcasted on the local community TV channel.
Shalom Beinenu Center
The first Shalom Beinenu Center is planned to open its doors in Tel Aviv providing that sufficient funds will be donated. The Center will include a library, coffee shop, lecture hall, panel discussions and musical performances. The Center will provide a conducive atmosphere for the religious and non-religious to get better acquainted and communicate.
CD produced by Shalom Beinenu
In an attempt to promote unity via commonly shared interests, Shalom Beinenu plans to produce a musical disc, which will include both religious and non-religious artists containing songs that promote peace and tolerance.
Children's Essay Competition
Due to the wide interest in this project we at Shalom Beinenu have decided that it will now become an annual project. In partnership with the Ministry of Education we hope to give thousands of children the opportunity to participate in this program. Additionally we are exploring the possibility of publishing last year's and this year's outstanding essays in conjunction with the Ministry of Education.
Shalom Beinenu will sponsor a comprehensive research on all references to "Ahavt Yisrael". This will include sources from both religious and secular perspectives. Educational institutions developing seminars and other educational programs on "Ahavat Yisrael" will be able to refer to these sources as they plan and implement presentations and discussions.
Shalom Beinenu has initiated and implemented a compendium of interviews with Israeli personalities from a wide spectrum of areas. Chief Rabbis, politicians, artists, authors, journalists, top businessmen and athletes, were interviewed by Shaul Mizlish, a journalist, who asked each one to describe what "Ahavt Yisrael" (the love of Israel) represents to them.
The wide ranges of responses received from close to 50 interviews are inspiring and thought provoking and as such we at Shalom Beinenu would like to make them accessible to the public. Shalom Beinenu is making an effort to have the interviews published in one of the leading news papers.