MERCAZ USA Newsletter — Summer-2015
Hannaton's New Program Brings Together Israeli and Diaspora Teens
Kibbutz Hannaton, the first and only kibbutz affiliated with the Masorti Movement, will be welcoming its pioneering cohort of North American high school graduates this coming September in its new "Mitzpeh BaGalil", a new gap year program. Mitzpeh BaGalil has been designed to be a pluralistic post-high school framework in which participants will study, tour, and do community service in Israel for 10 months.
But what truly sets this program apart from so many others is that it is designed from the start to run in parallel to the established "Mechina" post-high school pre-army service program at Hannaton for Israeli teens preparing for the IDF service. This means that Mitzpeh participants will develop friendships with their Israeli peers through shared projects and activities, creating a true "community" between US and Israeli teens within a pluralistic Jewish environment.
The core values of the new program are Jewish learning, pluralistic religious expression, developing Jewish leadership, community service and "yedi'at ha-aretz", a familiarity with the Land of Israel. Students interested in the program may apply for a special fellowship which would lower their participation cost to $7000. For more information, contact Rabbi Shawn Simon, Coordinator for Mitzpeh BaGalil, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news from Kibbutz Hannaton, plans for a new educational campus have been announced thanks to a $2.5 million contribution made by a generous anonymous donor. The new campus will include up-to-date offices, classrooms, community meeting places, a "contemplation area", an outdoor amphitheatre and more. In the spirit of the principles of the traditional kibbutz movement, the architectural plans will combine modern methods and materials that will fully integrate with the kibbutz's green Galilee surroundings.
The new educational campus envisioned with the new donation follows the recent announcement of a new Beit Midrash building which will join the already existing Mechina area built two years ago.
The new $2.5 million donation comes with a unique challenge: find matching donors to meet Hannaton's required $10 million full campus budget and the donor will contribute another $2.5 million. Those wishing to help Kibbutz Hannaton meet this challenge may contribute online at www.echannaton.org or by check to the Masorti Foundation, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 832, New York, New York 10115. Please make your check payable to the Masorti Foundation and designate your tax-deductible gift to the Hannaton Educational and Spiritual Center.
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