The Be’eri Program for Pluralistic Jewish-Israeli Identity Education trains educators, creates innovative curricula, and partners with local and national change agents to provide a pluralistic, content-filled approach to Tarbut Yisrael (Jewish heritage studies) that transforms the way countless Israeli students, teachers, and government and community leaders lay claim to their Jewish-Israeli identity.
The Be’eri program has been central in strengthening Tarbut Yisrael in the secular Israeli educational system. Prior to Be’eri, Jewish-Israeli identity education in secular high schools was minimal.
Since its inception, Be’eri has grown to become the largest and most influential Jewish-Israeli identity education program in Israel, helping to bring about significant structural change within the Israeli education system.
The Ministry of Education now recognizes Tarbut Yisrael as a teaching discipline, mandates and funds compulsory Tarbut Yisrael hours for all grade 7 and 8 students, and allocates funding to promote Jewish studies in secular high schools.
The mission of the Be’eri Program is to:
Expand the breadth and depth of pluralistic Jewish-Israeli identity education among Israeli youth attending secular public high schools.
Introduce Israelis to a multifaceted approach to Judaism that is meaningful and relevant to their daily lives, enabling them to form a positive Jewish-Israeli identity.
Present Jewish-Israeli culture in a manner that can help Israelis who are not religiously observant to form a pluralistic worldview that enables them to deal with the challenges of living in a diverse Jewish-Israeli democracy.
Continually develop innovative formal and informal educational methodologies that encourage educators, students, and parents to create a new school culture and take Jewish values-based social action.
Tarbut Yisrael textbooks: to meet the need for curricula on this new subject, Be’eri has developed Ministry of Education-approved Tarbut Yisrael syllabi and textbooks for students in grades 7-12, addressing themes such as Jewish-Israeli identity, Jewish philosophy, the Jewish-Israeli calendar, and Jewish and democratic values.
• Milestones: A Journey of Jewish Identity
• “Herzl Says”: An Exemplary Zionist Society
• In Our Ancestors’ Path
• Democratic Values and Judaism
• Peace of Mind: Select Chapters from Hilchot Deot
• Circles of Belonging: Jewish Identity in a Changing World
• The Individual and Society
• Eight Chapters for Maimonides
The Be’eri ecosystem influences students and teachers through a holistic combination of components:
“Principals often look for steps that will advance their school’s values, atmosphere, the caliber of its teachers, and the like. For me, the introduction of the Be’eri program was undoubtedly a move that succeeded in doing so. Tarbut Yisrael lessons are extremely difficult for today’s student, who is not accustomed to debate and in-depth discussions, but the excellent Be’eri-trained educators were able to take on this challenge.”
– Dr. Nati Barak, Principal, Hof Hasharon Shefayim Junior High School
The Be’eri resource center provides comprehensive support for Israeli high schools:
Be'eri Philanthropic and Public Partners
The Russell Berrie Foundation
UJA - Federation of New York
Crown Family Philanthropies
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
Montreal Federation CJA
The Alan B. Slifka Foundation
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco
The June Baumgartner Gelbart Foundation
Israel Philanthropic Partners
Mr. Alan Feld and Dr. LeeOna Fisher
Ms. Raya Strauss Ben Dror
Tmura: The Israeli Public Service Venture Fund
Israeli Ministry of Education
Municipality of Haifa
Municipality of Modi'in
Municipality of Be'er Sheva
Municipality of Nazareth Illit
Golan Regional Council
Municipality of Karmiel
Municipality of Or Akiva
Hof HaKarmel Regional Council
Municipality of Herzliya
Municipality of Kiryat Ono