Rosh Hashanah 5774

Rosh Hashanah 5774

Dear Friends of Makom Bagalil,

As Rabbi  Rosenstein wrote in the last newsletter, he is retiring at the end of this month as executive director of the foundation.  This is a major milestone and an emotional transition for him and for us.  All of the programs listed to the right have developed under his calm and creative leadership; he has ''put us on the map'' of social change through education in Israel.

We are planning a gala farewell benefit evening for Rabbi Rosenstein - a performance of the Galilee Circus with professional guest artists from the Israeli circus world - in the Karmiel Theater on November 13.

We are reaching out to all of Rabbi Rosenstein's circles of influence - family, friends, colleagues, readers - to join us in paying tribute and saying thank you.  We hope you will take part.  For information about the event, and sponsorship opportunities at all levels, click here.

On behalf of all of our board members, and the staff of the foundation, I wish you and your families a year of peace and blessing.

Leshanah Tovah Tikateivu!

Sue  Reiss, board chair



On the Road

The Galilee Circus was generously hosted for a two week summer circus institute in Oldenburg, Germany, by the Seifenblase Circus School there.  The visit culminated in a joint show at the annual kite festival at the nearby village of Lemwerder.  Here's a video.

En route to Germany we had an 8-hour layover in Warsaw; it seemed a shame to waste the time, so we contacted the Israeli embassy, who arranged for us to perform for 400 day campers at a community center - and a good time was had by all.  We are grateful to the Beit Warsawa Reform synagogue for providing lunch. 

Join the circus and see the world!


We did it

In our last newsletter we wrote of looking forward to a busy summer.  It came and went and was indeed very busy.  Forty busloads of guests came for our ''Neighbors'' program, an encounter with Arab teenagers - Ramah, Young Judea, FZY, Teach for America, community groups, synagogue groups...  sometimes five groups in a day.  The local teens from Dir el Assad and Nahaf were indefatigable - and most of this activity was during Ramadan.  They cheerfully showed up every day and patiently demonstrated and explained over and over again, that they are, well, ''just like us.''  A piece of information that shouldn't be surprising, but always seems to be.  Meanwhile, they enjoyed hanging out with kids from a different village - and kayaking together on the Jordan to celebrate the end of the season.

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Over the years we have developed partnerships with various local organizations and communities, to help them create and produce pluralistic celebrations and study programs.  This fall we are inaugurating a new partnership with Milam, an organization supporting families coping with mental illness, to offer a bet midrash for their clients.

And we continued our long-standing partnership with the community of Shorashim to offer a creative Selichot evening for the public. This year, musicians Diane Kaplan and Dana Keren led a beautiful, meditative evening of songs composed by Diane for texts from Psalms and from medieval liturgical poems.



All the news...

Our community bilingual website, Dugrinet, continues its efforts to enlighten and involve all the residents of the Galilee regarding the issues that impact their lives.  For example, see this translation of a report on the dilemmas facing young Israeli Arab women as they try to make their way in the world of academia. 

We are pleased to welcome six new student interns for the year, from colleges around the Galilee.




For useful background information on Arab-Jewish relations in the Galilee, click here.

And for our teacher-inservice curriculum on teaching Israel, published by ''Makom,'' click here.


Galilee Diary

Rabbi Rosenstein's weekly ''Galilee Diary'' on life in the Galilee is available on-line. A selection of entries from the first eight years of the Diary has been published in book form, and is available from the URJ Press.



What we do

Galilee Circus - 70 kids ages 6-18, half of them Arabs and half of them Jews, who meet to learn and perform circus arts - together.

Pluralistic Bet Midrash - Courses, lectures, festivals, study tours, bringing Jewish texts to bear on current issues.

Dugrinet - a Hebrew-Arabic website serving as a magazine and a platform for shared social action for all the residents of the Galilee

Neighbors - facilitated, structured educational encounters between Jews and Arabs.

Educational tourism - programs providing an authentic cncounter with the people and places of the Galilee.

Educational consulting - curriculum writing, teacher training, support for informal programming in schools.