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Project Profile

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Arava Leadership Institute (ALI)

Establishment of the Leadership Institute


The reality of Israel today is not easy to behold. Social rifts and economic gaps are widening. There is a crisis of leadership, characterized by corruption, cynicism, loss of direction and the evasion of responsibility. Religious extremism on the one hand and an estrangement from Jewish tradition on the other have led to polarization and mis-communication.

ALI believes that it is its duty to turn this crisis into an opportunity and the obstacles into challenges. The loss of direction compels it to embark on a process which will lead to action and change.

For Israeli teenagers, the period between finishing high school and beginning army service comprises a unique “window of opportunity”. This juncture, sandwiched between two such demanding frameworks, is when young people are most receptive to new ideas and are eager to learn, to do and to become.

Settling the Arava is both a symbol and an example of Zionism and of mutual responsibility. And yet because of its isolation, the Arava community struggles to create a dialogue with Israeli society, to influence and be influenced by it.

Thus the Arava Leadership Institute seeks to integrate the urgent needs of Israeli society, the unique opportunities of a “gap year” and the extraordinary case of the Arava settlement and agricultural success.


The Academic College

The Institute will train and develop young, ethical leadership for a range of practical fields, including politics, the military, law, education and the arts. Its graduates will be nurtured by their bonds to the land, the people and the culture of Israel . They will be guided by social ethics and human sensitivity and will lead by personal example, their words reinforced by their deeds, in order:

  • To strengthen the personal, Israeli, Jewish and Zionist identities of participants, while integrating their own personal perspectives and beliefs.

  • To encourage a sense of service and responsibility to Israeli society.

  • To build an emotional, spiritual and practical connection between man and earth and to develop a love for working the land.

  • To physically and mentally prepare participants to achieve the maximum during their forthcoming army service.

  • To create a tight-knit, nurturing community that will facilitate joint action in the future.

  • To create and develop an intra-Israeli cultural dialogue which will enable people to live together with mutual respect.

Ran Sade