Shaar La'Chinuch

Our mission is to use sport, primarily soccer, to create positive social change by way of life skills training for disadvantaged populations, and to promote understanding and coexistence among different groups in Israel and internationally.

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Year founded: 2013

Description

Shaar La'Chinuch was founded in 2013 by Dr. Meir Orenstein, the CEO of Mifalot Education and Society organization.  Shaar La'Chinuch's mission is to use sports as a tool to create positive social change by way of life skills training for disadvantaged children and youth, and to promote understanding and coexistence among different groups in Israel and internationally.  We use sports to build new social groups and communities, based on understanding, partnership, tolerance, recognition, and acceptance of the other, as well as helping individuals to maximize their potential and abilities.

RSJ Youth Delegation

About

Shaar La'Chinuch will organize and host a delegation of 24 disadvantaged and/or at-risk Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) youth from the San Francisco Bay Area (ages 20 - 25) to visit Israel for one week, to participate in sports and educational activities in partnership with a wide variety of male and female youth from Israeli society, including people with disabilities, Bedouin, Druze, Circassian, Jewish, and Arab youth, including youth at risk.  


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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Through this activity, Shaar La'Chinuch aims to: build stronger interpersonal relationships; enhance mutual understanding of each other's cultures and social dynamics of life in Israel versus the US; and to support a more tolerant co-existence between Israeli and American youth of all backgrounds and levels of ability.

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Program Description

This program will work with 24 disadvantaged and/or at-risk Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) youth from the San Francisco Bay Area (ages 20 - 25) to visit Israel for one week, to participate in sports and educational activities in partnership with a wide variety of male and female youth from Israeli society, including people with disabilities, Bedouin, Druze, Circassian, Jewish, and Arab youth, including youth at risk.  

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Demonstrated Need

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the largest RSJ populations in the US: according to recent estimates, the Bay Area RSJ community totals some 10% of the total US-based RSJ population (Stanford University, 2015 http://library.stanford.edu/spc/exhibitspublications/past-exhibits/soviet-jews-san-francisco).  While there are strong connections between RSJ populations in the US and Israel, this project will work to enhance the American RSJ community's understanding of the complex and dynamic life in Israel in new and innovative ways that go beyond a simple vacation or family trip environment.  In addition, Shaar La'Chinuch will focus on recruiting and selecting US participants from disadvantaged and at-risk communities - youth who may not have strong ties to their families and their faith, and thus can benefit from this type of experience that may not be available to them through other means.  These individuals will also complement Shaar La'Chinuch's beneficiary profile in Israel, which will facilitate a more common dialogue between delegation team members from both countries.

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Program Accomplishments

This is a new program that will be piloted through this grant, but drawing on the organization's successes to date in working with similar programs and populations.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

The success of the RSJ Youth Delegation program will measured using similar methods that Shaar La'Chinuch has used with other programs.  The outcomes and impact of our other programs implemented to date have demonstrated the efficacy of our interventions in facilitating dialogue, enhanced mutual understanding, and community development.  

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