We came from the cities and the kibbutzim, from the Left and from the Right, from Jewish backgrounds spanning secular to observant. We came together to form a community that draws its inspiration from the Jewish spiritual tradition and grapples with the most pressing social issues in Israel today. We were pained by economic and social gaps, alienation, polarization, and the weakening of social bonds. Today, over 400 of us work together with the residents in these communities, where we live, to rebuild these bonds, bridge these gaps.
We established the Kvutzat Reut organization in 1993 in order to fulfill this vision. We created a model in which the organization and the community work in tandem to strengthen communities and build shared language in a way that sets off a ripple effect through Jerusalem and nationwide.
The driving force behind our work is a deep sense of shared Jewish goals that draws its source from the Zionist pioneering movement and from the Chassidic movement and adapts them to the contemporary Israeli reality, through the view that learning leads to action—“talmud hamavi l’yedei maaseh.”
We work together with organizations, government bodies, families, and individuals in Jerusalem and throughout Israel to achieve this purpose.
Kvutzat Reut operates within two interconnected spheres of activity:
Cultivating leadership: through Mechinat Beit Yisrael, student villages, programs for young people, and intentional communities [link to each] across Israel.
Community growth: narrowing gaps through formal and informal education. Beit Yisrael runs a wide range of programs for children, youth, and the elderly as well as operating preschools and an elementary school. We work with local communities to develop nature sites as community spaces. And we work hand-in-hand with neighborhood residents to build strong community bonds.
“We came together here after 2000 years of exile, after the Shoah and the establishment of the State of Israel. Through us, the visions of the Prophets were fulfilled. The hopes and yearnings of our ancestors, and the pioneering actions of every generation. And we therefore have a great responsibility upon our shoulders to build a society, a country, that is worthy of our hopes and the hopes of our ancestors.
Alongside the physical ingathering of the exiles, we must work towards a spiritual and cultural ingathering of exiles. We must strengthen social bonds in our Land. Instead of the “religious” sector” or the “secular sector,” of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrachi… we simply view it all as the Jewish sector. The great challenge today is an authentic return to our sources, not in the “dati” sense, per se, but in the most fundamental Jewish sense—of fulfilling the mitzva of “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and of bringing all of Klal Yisrael together to realize the Jewish mission of tikkun olam–repairing a fractured world.”
–Hoshea Fridman Ben Shalom
Board of Directors
Dr. Aharon (Aron) Mor
Dr. Aharon (Aron) Mor is a hi-tech entrepreneur and member of boards of directors in the private and non-profit sectors. He is a researcher, lecturer, publicist and activist in the fields of philanthropic giving, the non-profit sector, and restitution of Jewish property. He is a former senior director in the civil service, senior adviser for the restitution of Jewish property in the Prime Minister’s Office and director of non-profit fundraising abroad. He is a Fulbright Fellow and holds a Ph.D. in History, a MA in Public Administration and Public Policy, and a BA in Economics. He specializes in taxes and accounting.
“For me, Beit Yisrael is Israel at its most beautiful: value-based, humane, setting a personal example, optimistic, and committed to social renewal in Israel. I value and love the people of Beit Yisrael and feel that my own activities within it make me a better person.”
Chair of the Board
Elhanan Noam is a financial consultant. He holds an MBA in Business Administration from the Hebrew University with a specialization in strategic management. He is an expert in valuations, capital raising and investment banking in the fields of real estate, industry, energy, and infrastructure.
“Beit Israel contributes to building and strengthening important foundational principles in Israeli society. For me, being part of this wonderful enterprise is a connection to values, tradition, society, and community.”
Yonat is a graduate of Mechinat Beit Yisrael’s 10th cohort. She is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the Hebrew University. She serves as academic coordinator of the “Idea” program for gifted students in the humanities and social sciences, and teaches policy analysis in the “Jussur” cadet program for Bedouin leaders for the local government. She previously served as adviser of the Chief Reserve Officer for government relations.
“Beit Yisrael is my inspiration and spirit that gives me wings. It is the internal reminder to live a life with purpose and to act for everyone’s benefit. This is a place of connection, intimacy, and above all, the presence of many good and loving people.”
Member of the Board Baruch is a graduate of the first year of the mechina. He is an officer and commander in the IDF’s Education and Youth Corps. He has held a number of positions, including commander of “Witnesses in Uniform” a Holocaust education missions to Poland, IDF Advocacy Department Head, and commander of a training unit for non-commissioned officers. He has a MA in Jewish history and teaches in the mechina.
“For me, Beit Yisrael is a route towards realizing big ideas, a ladder placed on earth, with its top reaching the heavens.”
One of the founding members of Beit Yisrael, and its Executive Director since 2001. Orli grew up in Kibbutz Beit Hashita in the Jezreel Valley, and draws personal inspiration from her early Zionist pioneer and Chabad roots. She has an MA in Community Leadership. Orli is married to Hoshea, is a mother of six, and a grandmother.
Hoshea grew up on Kibbutz Saad and Kibbutz Reshafim. His Zionist pioneering roots and his heritage as adescendant of Ruzhin and Vizhnitz Admorim are his inspiration towards creating bonds of unity within Israeli society. He was awarded the Avichai Prize for his pioneering initiatives, and the Liebhaber Prize for Religious Tolerance. He lit a torch at the national Yom Ha’atzma’ut ceremony on Har Herzl in 2012. He is a Brigadier General in Reserves, married to Orli, father of six, and grandfather.
Akiva came to Beit Yisrael from the private sector, and brings a rare combination of soul and practicality to Beit Yisrael. He grew up in the northern Israeli development town of Hatzor Haglilit and is now a member of a diverse Jerusalem community in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. He has an MA in conflict management and resolution. Akiva is married to Yehudit and they have four children.
Omar is a member of the Beit Yisrael community and a graduate of the mechina’s first cohort. He translates the spirit of the Second Aliya into the activist communities of our generation; there is no field of activity in Beit Yisrael that he is not involved in. He is originally from Petach Tikva and grew up in the Hshomer Hatzair movement. He is a community social worker, married to Anat, and a father of four.
Yael is a member of the Beit Yisrael community and a graduate of the mechina’s second cohort. She founded the Beit Midrash together with a group of alumni, and has been working to bring the Beit Yisrael vision to the world. She grew up in Gush Misgav, has a master’s degree in Jewish thought. She is married to Moishe, and is a mother of three.
Noam is a graduate of the mechina’s 10th cohort, and continued a family tradition of four sisters who graduated from the mechina. She grew up on Kibbutz Kabri and has a BA in Special Education. She brings to the mechina team a powerful ability to foster deep discourse and a unique sensitivity to the Other. Married to Daniel.
Miriam and her husband Matanya are members of Beit Yisrael’s unique student community within a nursing home in Gilo. She grew up in Yeruham and brings to the Beit Yisrael team a special energy for social action and cooperative work.
Avraham is a member of the Beit Yisrael community. Not only did he grow up right here in Gilo, he is also a graduate of the mechina’s 14th cohort. He is the “chief” of the SAHI “kindness commandos” unit that gets neighborhood youth involved in community work. He holds a BA in human resources management, is married to Rachel, and they have three children.
Anat is a member of the Beit Yisrael community, founder and pedagogical advisor to our preschool network for the attachment-developmental approach.
She grew up in Kibbutz Beit Hashita, and continues in her family’s tradition of becoming kindergarten teachers and educators. Anat has an MA in educational counseling. She is married to Omer, and they have four children.
Matanya and his wife Miriam are members of Beit Yisrael’s unique student community within a nursing home in Gilo. He is originally from Givat Shmuel and is currently studying social work. He strengthens bonds between the community, nature, and the environment.
Keren is a graduate of the mechina’s 19th cohort and served in one of Beit Yisrael’s core groups within the army. She coordinates the Alumni Committee and the Alumni network’s activities. She brings with her big heart, her deep connection to others, and a special hospitality.
We are grateful to all the partners who support us along the way
We are grateful to the many organizations that collaborate with us
Thank you to all our partners: friends, parents, graduates in Israel and abroad who are with us every step of the way. Without you, Beit Yisrael would not be what it is today.
Come meet us!
Get to know us — Come learn, experience, breathe
We invite you to visit the Beit Yisrael community, located in the heart of Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. Join us for lectures, workshops, and tours.
Midrashic Writing Workshop: creative writing based in Jewish textual sources
Gilo: The Story of a Neighborhood
The Attachment-Development Educational Approach: workshops for parents and educators
Young Communities as Motivators of Social Change
Between Worlds: On the Aliya of Chassidut to Israel – Hoshea Fridman Ben Shalom
The IDF as Meeting Point for Israeli Society – Hoshea Fridman Ben Shalom
Brother to Dagan, Itai, Daniel and Yardena. Born July 13th,1980 on Kibbutz Tirat Zvi. Matania was a student in Mechinat Beit Yisrael’s second cohort in 1998-1999. He enlisted in Beit Yisrael’s Golani Project and served in the Golani Brigade in the first Bok’im regiment (51) Matania fell in battle on April 8, 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin. He was 21 years old.
“Matania accepted everyone just as they were, respected everyone with the gentle and quiet inner peace of someone who is comfortable with his own way. He loved peace, pursued peace, and respected human beings.”
May his memory be for a blessing.
Noam Enav z”l
Daughter of Avishag and Yiftach Enav
Sister to Ori, Doron, Eshel, and Oded. Born May 22nd, 1991 in Atzmon in the Galil.
Noam was a student in Mechinat Beit Yisrael’s thirteenth cohort, 2010-2012 She served in the Nahal Brigade and was promoted to corporal during her service. Noam fell during her service on Tu B’av, August 2nd, 2012, in a road accident. She was 21 years old.
“Noam had a unique way of speaking, because her heart was just so open—and if you were sensitive enough you could just see right inside, just as she saw the person standing in front of her.”
May her memory be for a blessing.
Yoav Rubin z”l
Son of Edna and Richev Brother to Yoni and Yael, and partner of Hadas
Born on April 9th, 1979 and was taken from us on April 28th, 2009 after a serious illness.
Yoav was a student in Mechinat Beit Yisrael’s very first year, and a beloved teacher in all the mechina years that followed. He was a founder of the Alumni Beit Midrash, and both a student and teacher there for student and teacher in the graduates’ beit midrash for many yeasr. He joined the Beit Yisrael community in Gilo and became one of its most active and dedicated members.
“Yoav had an uncompromising belief in social change and tikkun olam. He lived his life in complete dedication to these values. He saw partners in tikkun olam in many different settings and sought to widen and deepen his network to influence the wider community and make his dream a reality. In addition to his work with Beit Yisrael, he developed partnerships in academia and in local and national government.”
May his memory be for a blessing
Shai Elkayam z”l
Son of Smadar and Shimon
Brother to Netanel, Liz and Liron
Born September 10th, 1990 in Be’er Sheva. When he reached the age of 18 he chose to serve as combat soldier in the Givati Brigade. He finished a tough basic training with distinction and was the pride of his family and friends. Shai fell during his service on July 11th, 2009 in a road accident. He was 19 years old.
“With an ever-present smile and innocent face, a child with an angel’s personality full of the joy of life. You received everyone with a smile. You enlisted determined to make us proud and you will never be forgotten. Our child.”