2008 MOFET JTEC Seminar in Israel for Diaspora Community Leaders – a Summary

July 22-28, 2008



The Jewish Community Leaders Seminar program was designed to aid small Diaspora Jewish communities in fostering community life as a cooperative venture between MOFET JTEC - the international channel for the Jewish world at The MOFET INSTITUTE, a leading institution in the field of Teacher Education and "Soul Train”, a program of the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva, Kfar Haroeh, that has been working with small Jewish communities for several years. This seminar was their second joint venture, the first seminar having taken place in July 2007.


The intensive, experiential seminar program which took place in Israel between July 8-28, 2008, enabled participants to acquire knowledge as well as practice Jewish activities and topics, creating a linkage to Israel, for the benefit of their communities.


Twenty three Jewish community leaders participated in the seminar from these locations:
USA – 20
South Africa – 2
Serbia – 1


The Seminar Program included:

Jerusalem Heritage – 3 days in Jerusalem


  • The Old City of Jerusalem: Cardo, the Jewish Quarter, The Aliyah of the Chasidim,
  • The City of David
  • The Western Wall Tunnels
  • The Western neighborhoods of Jerusalem: Mea Shearim, Nachlaot, Mishkenot She’ananim,
  • Yad Vashem - the Holocaust Museum
  • Mt. Herzl – Herzl's grave and family graves and Herzl Museum

Theoretical Studies:

  • Morning ”Limud”
  • Israeli Society, Israel in the Middle East

Social Activities:

  • Ethnic Music
  • Jerusalem in drama and song
  • Meetings with Minister of Social Affairs and Services, Yitzhak Herzog and Chairman of the Knesset Education Committee, MK Michael Melchior

Judea – 2 days in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion

  • Gush Etzion - Jewish communities south of Jerusalem
  • Hebron, City of Our Forefathers

Theoretical Studies:

  • Morning ”Limud”

Social Activities:

  • Meeting with settlers of Kfar Etzion

Tel Aviv- a week in Israel's central region


  • Diaspora Museum
  • Palmach Museum
  • Independence Hall

Theoretical Studies:

  • Morning "Limud"
  • Hebrew language studies
  • Tefillah - Jewish Prayer
  • Zionism and Emigration over the decades - an emphasis on Modern Day Zionism from the end of the 19th century
  • Jewish Leadership during the Holocaust
  • The Jewish Life Cycle - Circumcision, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Wedding, Burial
  • Producing events
  • Creating Ceremonies, Genuine Pedagogy

Social Activities:

  • Jewish films
  • Israeli folkdancing

Shabbat Home Hospitality

The Negev and the Arava – 3 days in the South


  • Massada
  • Dead Sea
  • Ein Gedi
  • Yerucham
  • Sdeh Boker – Ben Gurion's Home

Theoretical Studies:

  • Morning "Limud"
  • Ben Gurion – National Leader - his relations with the Jewish Diaspora 

Social Activities:

  • Meeting with Amram Mitzna Major-General IDF (res.) and mayor of Yerucham
  • Meeting with residents of Yerucham

Haifa and the Galilee - 5 days in the North


  • Atlit: Illegal Immigration in pre-State days
  • Haifa
  • Muchraka
  • Meggido
  • Beit Yehoshua Hankin (land purchaser) in Gilboa
  • Tzippori, the archaeological site – The Mishna
  • Kinneret Settlement and Hatzer Kinneret
  • The Sea of Galilee
  • Tzfat – the Old City and its Synagogues
  • Kibbutz Manara
  • Ramat HaGolan: The Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War
  • The Biblical Garden in Qazrin
  • The Olive Press in Qazrin  
  • Mt. Bental
  • Kibbutz Elrom

Theoretical Studies:

  • Morning "Limud"

Social Activities:

  • Home hospitality in Tzippori
  • Artistic activities
  • Meeting with Members of the "Urban Kibbutz" in Tivon
  • Shabbat in Tzfat
  • Tzfat Jewish Ethnic Music

See pictures of the seminar activities here: 

Read reflections of seminar participants here:

Get registration information for 2009 seminar here:

Updated: Oct. 29, 2008