Hevruta Gap-Year Program invites Israelis and North Americans to establish a joint community founded on discourse and values in the heart of Jerusalem. The program is open to young men and women from all over Israel and North America, from religious and secular backgrounds, who represent a variety of worldviews. Hevruta’s goal is to demonstrate how a community that celebrates learning and social engagement can promote tolerant dialogue in the Jewish world by generating a positive identity discourse based on shared aims and beliefs.
Hevruta operates according to three guiding principles – learning, social engagement, and community life. Graduates of the program acquire skills that support leadership, meaningful discourse and social engagement, which will go on to serve them as they address some of the most significant challenges facing the Jewish People today – whether in the context of their military service, higher education, or professional life.
Learning at Hevruta includes both classic and modern Jewish texts that introduce participants to the diversity and richness of Jewish tradition and intellectual history. Learning serves as a point of departure for participants to explore beyond the gates of the Hartman Institute, as they blend into Jerusalem’s unique fabric and volunteer with civil society organizations and social movements to contribute to their society and local community.
Hevruta is based in Jerusalem and the city plays a key role in the program. Our location affords participants access to the heart of Jewish history, exposing them to the many complexities – including religious, socioeconomic and intellectual diversity – that characterize Jerusalem. Jerusalem also serves as a laboratory in which the essential challenges facing the Jewish people as a society and as a nation can be closely examined.