Since 2000, AVI CHAI Israel, together with Alliance: Kol Yisrael Haverim, has been operating Mimizrach Shemesh, a beit midrash that encourages social leaders and activists to engage in social activity rich in Jewish tradition, particularly the Sephardic heritage.
Mimizrach Shemesh provides study and volunteer opportunities for young people and cultivates community leadership for social change, particularly in neighborhoods on Israel’s socio-geographic periphery. In doing so, Mimizrach Shemesh does not view text study simply as a source of inspiration or authority but rather as a link in a chain. It is loyal to the Jewish story as it has been passed from generation to generation while also being open to interpretation. Teaching materials emphasize the blending of tradition with modernity in the search for a Jewish identity based on social, ethical, and humanistic values.
All of these are “gifts” worthy of being distributed to all of Israeli society and useful in engendering a shared identity that crosses ethnic lines.
Mimizrach Shemesh offers different kinds of programs, i.e., various study and training programs for high school graduates, college students, other yound people, an dresidents of low-income neighborhoods.