CITIZENSHIP

Investing the concept of leadership with real meaning.

At Shalem, academics and public-spiritedness go hand-in-hand. Thanks to a specially designed course that examines the moral, political and demographic challenges facing Israeli society, a robust community-engagement program, and an Impact Office that translates idealism into action, Shalem students and graduates influence every aspect of public life in the Jewish state.

New Models of Zionist Education

Since its founding, Zionism has been a movement of both competing and complementary ideas—about universalism and particularism, modernity and a moral society. At Shalem, we engage those ideas in conversation and debate, whether in the classroom, on the street, in classic texts, or on the battlefield.

"Challenges in Israeli Society"

An Innovative Introduction to Israel's Most Complex Problems

A required course for all freshmen, “Challenges in Israeli Society” is the first step toward cultivating thoughtful, engaged, and influential citizens for Israel. Through seminars, guest lectures, and full-day site visits, the course introduces students to the complexity of hot-button topics in the Jewish state, challenges assumptions about their sources, and analyzes a range of possible solutions.

The Israel Story Initiative

Mining the Texts that Tell Our Story

A joint initiative of Shalem College and The Asper Foundation, the Israel Story Initiative brings notable Israeli scholars, public figures, and authors to campus to discuss a text that contributed to the making of a unique Israeli narrative, and encourages students to reflect on their role in shaping it.

The David and Fela Shapell IDF Education Program

Connecting Study and Service

Through courses in Zionism and Israeli history, Jewish thought, and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, Shalem’s master teachers bring thousands of Israel’s finest soldiers content that is relevant to their experiences and aspirations, offers specialized expertise, combats the erosion of motivation, and reminds them of the meaning and purpose of their service.

The Impact Office

With the support of The Paul E. Singer Foundation, Shalem’s Impact Office builds a network of Shalem students and graduates committed to making measurable, long-lasting change within Israeli society.

Civic Activism

New Approaches to Persistent Problems

Whether through initiatives aimed at advancing free-market ideas or projects that work to advance Jerusalem’s social unity, Shalem students and graduates are at the forefront of social change, combining classroom learning with real-world experience to effect far-reaching impact in a range of fields.

June 3, 2019

Three Languages, One City: Shalem Grad Bridges Gaps Between Jerusalem Residents through Unique News Platform

When people hear about the nonprofit social-media news site “0202,” the first question that invariably comes to mind is – what’s with the name?

September 8, 2016

Students Bring Their Call for Free-Market Reforms to the Knesset

It is perhaps fitting that Tacharut (“Competition”) sounded its first public battle cry against the outsized power of the Israeli labor unions on July 4th …

June 26, 2018

Helping Children in Need Write a New Future, One Story at a Time

While putting together the itinerary for the annual Koret Foundation-sponsored student mission to San Francisco, Shalem Director of Citizenship and Service Gila Rockman squeezed in a visit to 826 Valencia. “The focus of the mission is principally to introduce Shalem students to the richness and unique challenges of the North American Jewish experience,” explained Rockman, “ but I wanted to include a few, innovative projects that weren’t strictly Jewish, but which I thought might get them thinking.”

May 12, 2020

How Have Shalem Students Helped in the Fight Against the Coronavirus? Answer: In Many Different Ways

When Israel declared a national state of emergency in mid-March on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Union of Israeli Students was ready. To help, that is…

Social Entrepreneurship

Start-Ups with a Social Mission

With the help of our Accelerator, which seeds nonprofits and initiatives that combine innovation with a social mission, our students and graduates are bringing sustainable solutions to a range of challenges facing Israeli society, and showing that ideas are what drive—and change—our world.

June 10, 2020

Shalem Grad Sara Gazith ’19 Selected as One of Forbes Israel’s “30 Under 30” for Lone-Soldier Initiative

When Sara Gazith ’19 decided, at the age of 18, that she wanted to become a full, contributing member of Israeli society, she knew that enlistment in the IDF was the ticket…

November 20, 2019

Reframing Israel’s Story: Shalem Grads Help Found a Beit Midrash for Mizrahi Culture

In his 2014 article for Mosaic magazine, “Mizrahi Nation,” the author Matti Friedman begins by explaining that “the story of Israel, as most people know it,” is one of a blond…

April 15, 2019

Start-Ups with a (Social) Mission: Shalem’s Accelerator Takes Off

Think start-ups are founded only by business and computer-science majors? Think again. Today, it’s the philosophy majors and social activists who are launching their own…

August 4, 2016

Life is a Battlefield: Shalem Student Translates IDF Technology into Everyday Design

After two years spent struggling with Shalem’s rigorous course load, Shalem sophomore Yonatan Aldouby felt the strain—on his back. “Maybe if my studies weren’t so intense,” Aldouby grins, “I wouldn’t have felt the need. But the Odyssey, the Hebrew Bible, the Koran…these are heavy works. They take a toll.” To help lighten his fellow students’ loads, Aldouby decided to design a better backpack—and gain valuable experience as a social entrepreneur in the bargain.

SPOTLIGHT

Connecting Citizens for a Shared Purpose

Itai Ben Haim ’20, Director of Social-Change Programs for the National Nonprofit B’netivei Udi

By bringing secular and religious high-school students from the country’s various youth movements together to help members of their communities most in need, Shalem graduate Itai Ben Haim is helping Israel’s future leaders transcend ideological differences and work toward a shared vision of society.

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