Guided by the firm belief that education can facilitate and inspire meaningful change in Jewish life and a deeper understanding of Jewish identity, Posen Foundation–Israel funds a variety of educational activities that advance our vision. The Foundation supports the study of Judaism as Culture viewing Judaism not exclusively as a religion, but as a historic civilization and a culture that consists of Jewish history, ways of life, and the legacy and the secular and religious Jewish thought. The Foundation seeks to make Judaism as Culture accessible to as many groups and communities in Israeli society as possible.
PF–Israel funds, and is involved with developing, many formal educational programs for students, teachers, and principals, collaborating with the Israeli Ministry of Education, the Education Corps of Israel's Military, educational departments in various municipalities, and the majority of Israeli universities and colleges. PF–Israel also uses its funding plans to support organizations that provide informal educational outlets for cultural Judaism and non-religious Jewish services for the general Israeli public.
Israel Defense Forces–Educational Corps.
Service in the IDF, which happens at a critical juncture in the lives of most Israelis, shapes Israeli society in profound ways, and it is because of this that the IDF Education Corps has been in charge of establishing educational activities in the area of Jewish identity. The goal of the education is to cultivate discourse that fosters inquiry into shared Israeli identity.
Educational activities of formal and experiential learning are offered mainly to the command level, because officers’ connection to secular Judaism can have a powerful impact on the soldiers under their command, both during their IDF service and for years afterward. This program is particularly significant since the official military rabbinate controls much of the Jewish-related activities in the military, and secular Jewish voices are seldom heard.
Jewish Culture Website
This new website incorporates official Ministry of Education materials, and offers educators teaching tools and a platform for discourse on the study of Jewish philosophy and Jewish culture.
The website is designed for a broad audience, and disseminates the idea of Judaism as Culture, a concept that can enrich and empower secular Jewish life. The website offers a cultural Jewish perspective on various areas of life; provides a variety of Jewish responses to day-to-day problems in both the personal and public spheres; and promotes a sense of community and informed discourse on the range of possible Jewish identities.
The website is aimed at allowing every Jew in Israeli society to find his/her own place in Jewish culture.
"OFAKIM"–Tel Aviv University
The Ofakim program strives to educate and train a new generation of Jewish educators to teach Jewish philosophy in public secondary schools throughout Israel.
The program is devoted to fostering the intellectual and social skills of students and developing their leadership potential.
Students in the program are offered a unique curriculum, both academically and pedagogically. Ofakim offers courses that deal with questions of Jewish and Israeli culture from a critical and secular point of view.
Graduates of the program are granted a B.A. as well as a Teacher's Certification in Jewish Philosophy. Students in the program enjoy a full scholarship and a generous monthly stipend. Ofakim offers the alternative of a rich, variegated Jewish culture among Israelis who commonly regard Judaism to be an all-or-nothing religious experience.
Havaya is a secular organization, providing secular Jewish life rituals and striving to increase their legitimacy in the Israeli society. Havaya's goal is to establish secular Jewish life rituals as the main cultural option chosen by Israeli Jews.
In the past few years Havaya has conducted secular Jewish life rituals and established them as a grassroots phenomenon, while positioning Havaya as a brand name in this field. Havaya also organizes public events, and is a leading service provider in the area of non-religious Jewish rituals.
This program emphasizes the richness and diversity of modern Jewish culture, thus strengthening students’ cultural Jewish identity and expanding their worldview as Jews, Israelis, and human beings. The program combines both formal and informal studies, and is unique in its scope as a municipal program, taught in all 8th and 10th grade classes in the cities participating in the program. As a result, the entire system, from policy makers and heads of schools to teachers and pupils, share the experience of encountering Judaism as Culture.
The program is a result of collaboration between Posen Foundation Israel, the Ministry of Education, and the Rishon Le'Zion and Kfar Saba Municipal Authorities. This year the program will branch out to two new municipalities.
BINA Center for Jewish Identity and Hebrew Culture is one of Israel's leading organizations in the field of cultural Judaism, offering young adults a viable, vital option for exploring and expressing their Jewish and Zionist identities. BINA’s innovative study/service programs are based on Jewish study, social action/social justice, community, and leadership.
BINA strives to strengthen Israel as a just, democratic, pluralistic society, by emphasizing cultural and communal aspects of Judaism. BINA designs and implements year-long programs that reach more than 1,000 secular Israelis annually, integrating cultural, social and educational elements. BINA also offers seminars and public events for over 13,000 participants every year, with the goal of enhancing the Jewish and Zionist identity of non-Orthodox Israelis. BINA’s service/learning programs aim to inspire life-long appreciation of, and engagement with, textual study and social justice.
For more information on Posen Foundation-Israel, please visit posenfoundation.co.il