At the Joint Israeli Leadership Program in the Jezreel Valley, participants understand that to advance social discourse about partnership, there first needs to be partnership. And that is exactly what these idealistic high-school graduates — Jews and Arabs, native Israelis and new immigrants, religious and secular, Muslims, Christians, Circassians, Druze and Bedouin — are doing: Partnering for change.
The Midrasha (college) is the only leadership program in Israel intended not merely for high-school graduates in the year or two before starting their military service. Rather, it is open to anyone who seeks to prepare for an adulthood that embraces diversity and values tolerance. During an intense six-month period of living and learning together, it’s inevitable that the program will prepare the ground for meaningful friendships, as well.
Participants study philosophy, politics, leadership, Hebrew and Arabic, and travel together around the country to volunteer and get to know Israeli society in all its diverse facets. It’s the first step in what the program hopes will be a lifelong journey of contribution, commitment, and the creation of a new kind leadership for and among all the social, national, religious, and cultural groups in Israel.