Activating the Next Generation
We are living through a defining moment in Jewish history, and our young people are fully engaged.
The Institute is working with young people and the educators who serve them to provide direct support for those most affected by the war and rising antisemitism by getting them the resources and ideas they need to connect to Jewish tradition and community as well as grapple with what is unfolding through the lens of Jewish values.
- Israeli and North American participants in the Institute’s Hevruta Gap-Year Program are volunteering to support families who have been evacuated and/or deployed, including cooking for IDF soldiers, visiting children in the pediatric ward of hospitals, delivering food to families in need, and supporting parents who need childcare.
- Students at Hartman’s Midrashiya High School for Girls and Charles E. Smith High School for Boys in Jerusalem are organizing volunteer efforts to support evacuated families with food, childcare, and other support. They are hosting fun events and educational programming on the Hartman campus to offer these families respite and learning.
- The Institute is supporting educators through Mila Tova (a Good Word), which distributes a brief daily source sheet on a specific word or theme such as hope, responsibility, prayer, kindness, humanity and comfort, to our network of more than 1,000 educators in Israel to help them navigate this moment with their students through a Jewish lens.
- Similar to Milah Tova, Makom B’Lev serves Palestinian-Israeli teachers who are participants and graduates of Hartman’s Min HaBe’erot program with weekly source sheets in Arabic and Hebrew designed to help educators talk with their students about their feelings and the current situation, including discussion questions and activity suggestions.
- We launched Nilchamim al Haruach (Fighting for the Spirit), a series of six sessions for educators to help them explore how to process current moment pedagogically.
- We created a series of leadership training and support sessions for volunteers providing for the needs of evacuees, families of enlisted soldiers, and others impacted by the war to maximize their effectiveness and recognize their efforts.
- We launched our year-long North American Teen Fellowship for 200 teens with a Shabbaton focused on this moment, how it impacts their Jewish identity, and their connections to Peoplehood.
- We are working with college students to confront rising antisemitism on their campuses, including the Edward Fein Winter Student Seminar December 25-29, 2023 where students will grapple with tensions of pluralism and peoplehood, morality in war, power and vulnerability, and Jewish identity on campus today.
- Our faculty are working with Jewish educators in Hillels, Day Schools, and camps across North America to offer resources that prepare them to work with students during this challenging moment, including how educators can use the Heart-Head-Hand paradigm to help students process and respond to the horrific events of October 7.
- Our flagship podcasts Identity/Crisis and For Heaven’s Sake are experiencing increased listenership among young people, and our special series, Perfect Jewish Parents: Israel at War explores the core questions and values these difficult moments illuminate so parents, caregivers, and educators can navigate complex conversations with young people.