The Yaacov Herzog Center for Jewish Studies (YHC) has brought value added to Israel for almost 30 years. We are an educational center which focuses on bringing different sectors of people in Israel together, from teenagers through senior citizens, with the goal of understanding one another better and cultivating a more respectful society. We are the voice of a moderate Religious Zionist approach the also values humanism, mutual respect, and pluralism. Because of this our role has become more significant, since we connect between diverse segments of Israeli society and are a bridge between people from different backgrounds.
Our four main programmatic areas are:
1) Multiple types of educational offerings open to the general public both at our Ein Tzurim campus (on the border of the Negev and the Southern coastal plain) and at many offsite settings
2) Batei Midrash for university students (Daroma), women, emerging leaders (Reshut Rabim), and young adults
3) A variety of programs for high school students on Jewish identity, leadership, religious/secular dialogue and experience, and values clarification. Activities are on our campus, at youth villages, and schools throughout the country
4) Tzahali - a one year pre-army Academy for religious young women to prepare them for meaningful army service and to subsequently assume significant roles in Israeli society at large
We are one of the most prominent Orthodox organizations active in the field of Jewish Renaissance in Israel. Founded by the Religious Kibbutz Movement in 1988, the Yaacov Herzog Center focuses on a study method which promotes dialogue between different groups in Israeli society, bonding them together through joint study and sharing of views and sources with fellow students.
We believe that every Jew has the opportunity to make Jewish culture and tradition relevant to their lives through open dialogue between individuals; celebrating what is shared while respecting differences. We work to advance an open, responsive and pluralistic Judaism in the public space, with an emphasis on the southern region while strengthening the sense of belonging of individuals and groups to Israel, Israeli society, and Jews everywhere.
Each week, the YHC convenes hundreds of people (over 6,000 unique participants annually) of all ages – religious, traditional and secular, from urban and rural communities – at its Kibbutz Ein Tzurim campus and at sites throughout the country to study together in a tranquil and inclusive atmosphere that respects the different traditions and cultures of all participants. These students go forth from our classrooms into Israeli society to voice and spread this special message of respect and understanding from the country's southern periphery to the wider public throughout the country.
The Center is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Yaacov Herzog, an Israeli diplomat, lawyer, rabbi and philosopher of wide international reputation, who devoted his life to the service of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and its founding was made possible by the generosity of Mr. Derrick Kleeman.