At a time of increasingly widening rifts between Israeli and American Jews, Shalem is cultivating a generation of leaders for Israel committed to the preservation of a single Jewish people.

More and more, it is not merely distance that divides us, but different experiences, commitments, and worldviews. At Shalem, we place the issue of peoplehood at the core of our students’ education, expanding their understanding of the world’s largest and most successful Diaspora community, while raising questions about the  nature and purpose of the state they call home.

The Shalem-Koret Jewish Peoplehood Project

A unique and multi-faceted partnership between Shalem College and the Koret Foundation, the project aims to spur new thinking about the significance of the relationship between the world’s two largest Jewish communities.

The Program in American Politics and Policy

Appreciating Shared Values and Strategic Interests

A specially designed, semester-long course on the American political system and the history of the U.S.-Israel alliance, the Program in American Politics and Policy culminates in a mission to Washington DC timed to coincide with the annual AIPAC Policy Conference.

The Bay Area Mission

Judaism as an Active Choice

Through a week-long trip to the Bay Area, a select group of Shalem students experiences the complexity, diversity and richness of the most progressive Jewish community in America—as well as the unique challenges with which it contends. Moreover, by exploring the ways that Judaism competes in the American marketplace of ideas, the mission raises questions of individual and collective identity, and encourages new thinking about what “Israeliness” means.

Scholars Who Build Bridges

Shalem is home to thinkers, researchers, and authors who bring insights about what divides us—and ideas about what can unite us—to the classroom, the Israeli public, and the world at large.

Natan Sharansky

Peoplehood as a National Mission

Renowned Prisoner of Zion, statesman, human rights activist, author, and Israel Prize winner Natan Sharansky’s seminar for Shalem, “Freedom, Identity, and Relations between Israel and Diaspora Jewry,” covers topics such as the value of national and religious identities in building a democracy and the responsibility of the world’s two largest Jewish communities toward one another.

Daniel Gordis

A Conversation Across the Divide

Award-winning author and a prolific public intellectual Dr. Daniel Gordis is author of a new book on the root causes behind the Jewish-American and Israeli divide. We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel, proposes a foundation for a new relationship, based on a deep understanding of the two, very different models of Jewish life that emerged in the early 20th century.

Yedidia Z. Stern

Understanding Legal and Moral Responsibilities

Former chairman of the National Committee for Civic Studies and chairman-elect of the Coalition Committee to Enact an Israeli Constitution Prof. Yedidia Stern teaches Shalem’s specially designed course, “Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State,” which addresses Israel’s obligations to both its civic and family collective, namely Diaspora Jews.


Growing a Global Jewish Network

Michael Schwartz '18, Director of Research and Educational Development for Masa Israel Journey

Responsible for designing meaningful educational experiences for thousands of young Jewish professionals who come to Israel from around the world each year, Shalem grad Michael Schwartz is helping them strengthen their Jewish identity and their connection to the larger Jewish people at the same time.

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