About us

History

Although the Galilee Foundation for Value Education - Shorashim was established in 1992, its origins reach back to the foundation of Moshav Shorashim by a group of young immigrants from North America in 1981. Originally organized as a communal moshav, Shorashim set up several collective enterprises, including a seminar center that opened in 1987. This center, Makom ba-Galil (''A place in the Galilee''), offered educational programs to tourists and to locals on aspects of history and modern life in the Galilee.

The community's members included some talented informal educators, and within a few years the center had developed an outstanding reputation, especially for Jewish-Arab encounters, and for creative Jewish identity programs at historical sites in the area.  This led to the formal establishment of the Foundation as a registered amuta (Israeli non-profit), based until today in Shorashim, and still sometimes known by ''old-timers'' as Makom ba-Galil. 

The center has received funding from a variety of sources to support the development of new programming and training of professional manpower, and has continued to expand its repertoire and its reach. 

Overall Vision

Our vision is of Israel as a shared, pluralistic, tolerant and safe society for all its citizens, where there is mutual trust and a meaningful and real dialogue between groups who accept each other respectfully.

Educational Values

  • We believe in a vision of Zionism as an effort to create a Jewish state that is a ''light unto the nations,'' a society that ''knows the heart of the stranger,'' and therefore enables persons and groups representing a wide range of ethnic and national identities and religious and ideological commitments to live together in harmony.
  • We believe that educational activities are not only a reflection and perpetuation of existing social realities, but can be a formative influence, playing a role in changing individuals and thereby in''changing the social order.
  • We believe that self-knowledge and self-awareness - in individuals and in groups - are crucial for generating the security in one's own identity that is the basis for openness to and respect for the identities of others.
  • We believe that there cannot be harmony without knowledge of the ''other,''not only knowledge on the factual level of history and culture, but also on the human level of familiarity with his/her hopes and fears,aspirations and disappointments. This implies the need both for study and for direct personal encounter.
  • We believe that it is important to learn to live with complexity: reality is rich and often confusing. Intergroup understanding is furthered when we face that richness with humility - and not when we seek to simplify it into slogans.
  • We believe that the Galilee as a region, with its unique combination of human and natural resources, can serve as a laboratory and demonstration site for realizing a vision of a society based on intergroup harmony and cooperation.

Goals

  • Fostering of mutual understanding and cooperation between different ideological and religious streams in Judaism
  • Fostering of mutual understanding and cooperation between Jews and Arabs in the Galilee
  • Deepening and strengthening the links between Israel and the Diaspora
  • Education for the application of humane, Jewish values in Israeli society
  • Deepening the connection to the Jewish heritage in the Galilee

Location

The Galilee Foundation for Value Education is located at Moshav Shorashim, a community settlement which is part of the Misgav Regional Council, some ten minutes' drive from Karmiel and forty-five minutes from Safed, Tiberias and Haifa. Surrounded by mountains and overlooking the sea, Shorashim is close to both Arab and Jewish settlements as well as important historical sites of the region such as Zippori, Yodfat and Acco.

Target Population

Our programs are aimed at all age groups, from elementary school though adult. We work with professionals, non-professionals and volunteers,educators and counselors; Arabs and Jews; Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Orthodox Jews; Diaspora Jews and Israelis.

We believe...

We believe that Israel must create a shared society among all its citizens, whatever their religion or ethnic identity.

We further believe that the Galilee, with its mixed population and its traditions of pluralism and cooperation, can serve as the laboratory for creating a model for shared, pluralistic and safe society.

To this end, we have developed (and continue to develop) programs designed to break down barriers and fears, and strengthen shared culture and identity, amongst and between the Jewish, Arab and all all citizens of the Galilee.

And we are open to new ideas and partnerships beyond the projects listed on this page.

To get an idea of our conception of the history of the region and the dilemmas we face here, read this essay.

Can Israel be democratic and Jewish?

Emeritus Executive Director, Rabbi Dr Marc Rosenstein, discusses his vision of a Democratic Jewish State in the Spring  2016 edition of CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly.