Yachad Modiin was established in 2000 in Modiin as a non-profit organization ('Amuta'). As of 2015, Yachad Modiin has grown to over 1,400 students and more than 750 families who live in Modiin and its environs. This diverse community includes families with different Jewish identities (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, secular, traditional, mixed), and from a range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Yachad Modiin works in close cooperation with the Meitarim Network, dedicated to promoting Jewish dialogue and education in an environment that integrates children from different Jewish backgrounds.
The Israeli education system separates between "religious" and "secular" families, via a system of “state religious” or “state secular” schools. Over the years, each sector has become more entrenched in its beliefs and lifestyles. This has become patently clear with regard to the type, quality and quantity of knowledge acquired in each sector, on the one hand, and families' lifestyles on the other.
Yachad Modiin is challenging this system and its divisive approach from within. Yachad Modiin aims to become a key part of the state system, in the belief that a solution that bridges between world-views and approaches is an important alternative for Israel's education system. Israeli society is heterogeneous and is composed of a mosaic of Jewish lifestyles. Many families want to maintain or develop their lifestyle but do not want the education system to judge them. They also do not want the education system to prevent their children from learning about this mosaic. Yachad Modiin's approach is driven by an integrated educational-social philosophy that contends with and seeks to address this reality.
State Educational Institutions
Yachad Modiin includes six pre-schools for 3-5 year olds, a primary school for grades 1-6, and a high school for grades 7-12.
Yachad Modiin High School
Founded in 2005, Yachad Modiin High School is the largest school in the country that incorporates religious and secular students learning together. Yachad serves students with different Jewish identities (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, secular, traditional, mixed), and from a range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The school encourages dialogue, with a belief in an educational system that bridges between world-views. The goal of the school is to enhance the student's identity based on his or her family's background, while at the same time upholding acceptance and legitimacy of "the other." Students are educated to take responsibility for and become involved in their community. In 2015 Yachad Modiin received the prestigious National Prize for Education, given annually to one high school in recognition for its high standard of excellence in all areas of education. In addition, the school has also been chosen as one of the top ten schools advocating values in education.
The unique educational content, which is taught formally and informally to all school-aged children, includes:
- Extra Jewish studies in Tanach, Jewish literature and lifestyles
- Emphasis on Jewish social values (mutual responsibility, helping one another) in the school environment.
- Inclusive Jewish lifestyle in the school, including daily prayers, blessings, weekly Torah portion, Kabbalat Shabbat, etc.
- Celebration and commemoration of key events in the Hebrew calendar
As a practical expression of its worldview, Yachad Modiin includes special education instruction within the school and is constantly cooperating with 'Gvanim' the special education school in the Yachad Modiin campus.
Yachad Modiin's Educational campus, located in the Shimshoni neighborhood of Modiin, serves all of Yachad Modiin's educational and community activities, from pre-school to high school. In addition, the campus include a special education school.
Yachad Modiin has adopted an integrated and unique approach that includes educational activities and social-communal work:
The aim of Yachad Modiin’s educational activities is to provide a diverse, original, profound and creative Jewish education that promotes knowledge, thought and the ability to engage with Jewish sources. This is carried out in a values-driven environment that recognizes and understands the importance of Jewish heritage and culture and is consistent with modern life in the Jewish-democratic state.
Non-profit Organization - Parental Involvement
Yachad has a very involved parent base, with a large percentage of the families taking on active roles in any number of committees, including:
- Yachad Modiin Board which is elected by all members of the non-profit organization and is comprised of nine volunteer members. (Yachad also employs five staff members).
- Volunteer committees that operate across a wide range of fields, including culture and events, mutual support, audit, fundraising.
- Group evening activities, including a learning community (Beit Midrash), a women's Rosh Chodesh group, family hiking groups, a choir, among many other special events.
The aim of Yachad Modiin’s social-communal activities is to develop and make a significant contribution to the communal life of the city including:
- Cultural activities for parents and families – both in terms of study and experience (joint Shabbatot, events centered around the Jewish calendar, Beit Midrash for adults, group activities for adults etc).
- Developing social networks in the community, intensifying mutual responsibility and assistance between its members
- Returning some of the responsibility for children’s education from the school to the parents (as there may be gaps between the educational frameworks and the Jewish education that each family gives its children). The school does not replace the parents with regard to determining the Jewish lifestyle of its students – this is the parents’ responsibility.
At Yachad Modiin, secular and religious students grow up together, and families meet, in a non-coercive environment that focuses on Jewish heritage and values as a whole. We believe that this unique model is necessary for the building of a Jewish-Israeli society with a common Jewish language in the State of Israel.
Yachad (meaning "together" in Hebrew) Modi'in is a not-for-profit organization in the city of Modiin, Israel that operates an innovative, pluralistic school and supports a growing community, both with the goal of building a more unified, tolerant Israeli society.
Pluralistic Jewish Education in Israel is the ONLY way to achieve a more unified and tolerant Israeli society, with citizens who share knowledge of their Jewish heritage and who have the tools to handle their country’s difficult challenges.
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