Background to the center's activities
Israeli society is characterized by division and polarization. In recent years, the polarization has reached a new high. Almost every day we are exposed to cases in which the different opinion of the other constitutes grounds for hatred and condemnation.
In a broader perspective, this is, of course, a trend of many years and dimensions in Israeli society: alienation, fear and hatred between different groups against a background of sectoral, political, racial or religious affiliation. Every group in the society has its own unique labeling and exclusion: ultra-Orthodox, Reform, settlers as leftists, Mizrahim, immigrants from Ethiopia or Russia, Arabs, the gay community, and more.
Many challenges to Israeli society, we believe that the greatest and most pressing challenge is to reduce polarization and alienation, and with them their derivatives: racism, discrimination and hatred. The foundation of the programs run by the center is the belief that only a real and direct acquaintance with the other - his world, his culture and his life - can lead to a softening of the attitude towards him and recognition of his legitimacy and his place in society.
What are we doing?
In our view, the first step to a shared life out of respect, tolerance and inclusion is a meaningful acquaintance with the other, his interests, his religion, his faith and his way of life. Hinam Center promotes acquaintance between all sectors, societies and cultures that exist in Israeli society.
All of the Center's programs are designed to meet different people and are based on as diverse a variety as possible, while taking into consideration and sensitivity to each culture and its characteristics. All programs strive to create an in-depth and direct acquaintance with the other, in the natural environment, with the emphasis of the author and the common - without ignoring the difference and without fearing it.
How do we work?
Hinam Center believes that in order to create a broad and meaningful influence on Israeli society, it is not enough to create new meeting groups, but rather to change the principles of the society's thinking and activity. For this purpose, the center chooses not to "invent" new frameworks of activity, but rather to work to diversify the existing frameworks (pre-army preparatory, national service core, school trips, etc.) and thus establish a new model that proves that it is possible to operate in any field with people with background different. This model, if it permeates the entire society and encourages other entities to adopt it, can serve as a catalyst for a significant change in the accepted social perception in Israel and as a result, to promote a more tolerant, open and cooperative society.
What change do we aspire to produce?
Our programs offer a unique experience of encounter with the other that invites familiarity with his lifestyle and customs, thus enabling him to see him in a new light, from a personal and not distant place. Knowing the other, the difference and the commonness between us opens a window to another discourse and the possibility to act together.
The participants in the various programs run by the Center serve - after the change themselves - ambassadors of goodwill and change agents in the circle of their acquaintances and their relatives, and even lead new initiatives within the organization.
The Wandering Mechina Project Coordiator
Age 48, retired from the IDF after 25 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Served in the Paratroopers Brigade and in the IDF Command and Staff College, and was one of the founders of the pre-military Wandering Mechina Project.
Deputy Director of Hinam Center
Has been a public activist for many years. She is a board member and advisor to the mayor of the Ma'aleh Adumim municipality. She is a member of the Emunah administration. She is a member of the Ezra youth group and a member of the directorate of the Castel Museum. She managed a cluster of kindergartens in special education frameworks, managed the recruitment and marketing division, and was the senior management company of the Association for Volunteering.
Advocate Yaron Kenner, who holds a Master's degree in Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at AMU University in Poland, where he researches tools for promoting social tolerance. Yaron was a journalist for the 7-day paper of Yedioth Ahronoth group, and published many investigative reports on social justice and weakened groups. He served as the director of "Kol BaRama" radio station and the director of "Panim", an organization of organizations dealing with Jewish identity. Yaron lives with his family in Modi'in.
Dr. Rotem Waitzman
Responsible for New Media and Research
Has a BA in philosophy and biology, MA in philosophy and MBS bioethics and Ph.D. in managment. Researcher in the field of medical ethics, interpersonal communication and multiculturalism. Publishes articles in international journals and lectures at international conferences in these fields. Graduated from the Tmura Institute for the training of secular humanistic rabbis.
The Shabbat in Exchange Project Coordiator
During her high school studies, Noa Dror served as an instructor in Scouts and volunteered in MDA. After her discharge from the army she joined the second cycle of the "Achi Israeli" project.
Yael Nachon Harel
Dr. Shai Ben Yosef
Director of the youth department at the Deir al-Assad local council
Partner for establishing Hinam Center
Director of the Gimpritz Foundation in Israel
Head of the Hasidic Midrasha for Youth
Jewish Federation of Greater Fhiladelphia
Federation of San Francisco
Chairman of the Ofra Secretariat
Director of the Posen Foundation for Friendship
Director of the Ascent Center in Zafat
Director of the reception center in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood of Rehovot