achievement, ambition, and a commitment to their country
Some arrive with a clear sense of purpose, others develop it here. What all Shalem students share in common is a desire to make a difference, and the character, intellectual ability, and record of service that ensures they will.
As an only child, Fekade was exempt from service in a fighting unit, but insisted on serving in one of the IDF’s most elite combat-engineering battalions nonetheless. Afterwards, he was recruited by Israel’s Security Agency to work undercover in Arab countries. Now Fekade focuses on transparency: One of the leaders of a Shalem-student-founded economic advocacy organization, he provides MKs with the data necessary to make informed policy choices.
For her national service, Shai spent a year assisting Ethiopian immigrants at an absorption center, and another teaching American Jews about Israeli culture. She then studied Jewish and Western texts at the leadership academy Ein Prat. A determined believer in the importance of difference, dialogue, and mutual respect, she now works for an innovative Jerusalem initiative that coordinates and films rendezvous between Israelis of distinct religious, ethnic, and ideological backgrounds.
Mordy is a passionate writer, whose hobby currently takes the form of a blog about the intersection of current events, philosophy, and Jewish thought—the subject of his major at Shalem—and boasts nearly 50,000 followers. He is also a regular contributor to the popular website 929 Together, which offers original interpretations of every chapter in the Bible, uploaded and studied daily by hundreds of thousands of Israelis of all ages, religious backgrounds, and political opinions.
Hannah aspires to bring about a sea change in Israel’s educational system, one that empowers female students to feel a sense of ownership over traditional Jewish texts. She’s unfazed by controversy: Unlike most women in the religious-Zionist world, she opted to serve in the army. And during her junior year, she co-organized the second-annual student conference on politics and society, for which she brought top-tier politicians, journalists, and public figures from across the ideological spectrum to address the standing-room-only crowd.
Noam spent a year volunteering for an emergency-services organization in Sderot before serving in Maglan, the elite IDF unit that carries out commando missions behind enemy lines. A veteran of two wars—Operations Pillar of Defense and Protective Edge— Noam then continued his service to the country in a different capacity: as coordinator for Ma’ahal v’Migdal, a program that places recent army graduates in outlying farms in Israel’s South, where they learn hothouse agriculture, protect Jewish-owned land from vandalism, and study Zionist texts.
Amir Bet Arye
After serving nearly five years in a special-forces unit specializing in reconnaissance, Amir rose to the rank of deputy company commander. Today, this self-described “average kibbutznik” is a reserve officer in the IDF's elite alpine unit. Alongside his studies, Amir co-founded a watchdog organization that seeks to expose groups that portray themselves as human-rights organizations, but instead focus their efforts largely on delegitimizing Israel and the IDF in the international arena.
breadth, depth, and fluency
A Shalem education compels students to encounter ideas that once seemed impossibly difficult, and to challenge both their own and others’ points of view. It teaches, in other words, not just subjects, but the skills essential for leadership.
Core Curriculum The study of Jewish and Western civilization’s seminal texts, designed to cultivate active, influential citizens for a modern Jewish state. learn more
Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies A grounding in the history, theology, politics, demographics and culture of Muslim societies, alongside an insistence on mastering the languages they speak. learn more
Philosophy and Jewish Thought A deep engagement with the ideas that shaped the modern Jewish state, and states the world over. learn more
scholar-practitioners and master teachers
A unique ability to bridge the gap between academia and the world outside the classroom, and place students’ learning in the context of the most pressing issues facing Israel today.
Shalem's educational director, and a leading expert on the pedagogy and philosophy of liberal education
Israel Prize winning scholar of Islamic history, philosophy and law
Scholar of biblical law and narrative, and pioneering thinker on issues of gender in biblical texts
Former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel’s National Security Council
Internationally acclaimed jurist and Israel Prize winning scholar of constitutional law
Scholar of Zionism and Hebrew literature, and author of an award-winning history of the kibbutz movement
A college in the service of the Jewish state
At Shalem, the belief that service is a privilege permeates students’ learning. Through a comprehensive, hands-on, four-year program, students gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to invest the concept of leadership with real meaning.