What is Jerusalem Village?
Jerusalem Village helps young Jewish adults from Jerusalem and around the world connect to each other while experiencing the city’s rich community and cultural life. Jerusalem Village works to create a sense of belonging among young internationals in Jerusalem, enabling pluralistic minded young Jews to participate in authentic community experiences and build fulfilling lives in the city.
How was Jerusalem Village founded?
Founded in 2010, Jerusalem Village sponsored its first mifgash or meeting point between visitors, young immigrants, and native Israelis through Community Shabbat Dinners.
Generously funded as a start-up initiative by the Jewish Foundation of Central New Jersey, Jerusalem Village launched a series of small pilot programs between 2011 and 2013 in order to learn and develop effective ways of breaking down barriers between newcomers to the city and its unique community.
In January of 2013, Jerusalem Village was granted funding by the Leichtag Foundation to undergo a strategic planning process, including extensive research through the first international survey of Young Adult Jews, synthesis of effective program models, and a growth plan for the next five years.
What is the difference between Jerusalem Village and other organizations that serve tourists and immigrants?
Jerusalem Village approaches young newcomers to Jerusalem like never before. Rather than focusing on well-known tourist attractions, we engage young Israelis to create a welcome and show newcomers the rich community life that Jerusalem boasts. Most importantly, we organize mifgashim (meeting points) between newcomers and their Israeli peers, helping them feel rooted in the community.
What is the change Jerusalem Village aims to make?
On average, 60% of olim arriving to the city leave after 6 months; we aim to reduce that number to 30% by 2020.
Less than 30% of the young Jewish adults that visit or live in Jerusalem participate in programs or activities with their Israeli peers. We aim to increase interaction with Israeli peers to 60% by 2020.
And our big audacious goal is to connect 100,000 young adults by 2030.
Who funds Jerusalem Village?
The Leichtag Foundation, Schusterman Foundation, Qualita, Jerusalem Municipality, Jerusalem Foundation as well as other private foundations and donors generously support Jerusalem Village.
Does Jerusalem Village have paid staff?
Jerusalem Village employs a director and team of staff members and students on scholarships (from the Jerusalem Foundation) who aren’t afraid to dream big. We also contract freelancers for a variety of projects and events. We invest in a high caliber of staff, and believe that a mixture of Israeli and immigrant backgrounds is crucial to reaching our target audiences, overcoming challenges, and accomplishing our mission.
Where is your office located?
Our office is located in Mass Challenge in the Beit Alliance young adult community center in the Machane Yehuda market.
Kiach Street 5/Shuk parking lot
Who does Jerusalem Village serve?
Jerusalem Village works hard to implement events that attract and bring together young adult from all over the world with their Israeli peers. Our events and programs are run in a mixture of languages with a focus on easy Hebrew, so that everyone can comfortably participate.
Is Jerusalem Village a singles organization? Do you provide dating services?
Jerusalem Village supports networking for social and professional purposes, but does not in any way promote dating. Our events are designed for young singles and couples.
Is Jerusalem Village a religious organization?
We encourage connectivity to Jewish community and culture, but do not promote religious beliefs or practices. Jerusalem Village strives to create a pluralistic environment so that those who identify as haredi, secular, religious, ‘just Jewish’ and everything in between feel comfortable participating. However, this often requires some flexibility and understanding of the value of pluralism from our participants.
Is the organization politically affiliated?
While Jerusalem Village encourages political activism and voting as a form of community involvement and participation in Israeli society, we do not support any specific political entity.
How many people are involved and attend events?
Jerusalem Village currently serves a community of 2,000 + young olim and Israelis, and has over 3,000 followers on Facebook. Each event attracts anywhere from 50-200 young adults, although there are some more intimate events which by design have the capacity for only 25-30 participants.
How can I join Jerusalem Village?
There is no fee to join! Sign up to receive our email updates, and follow our Facebook and Instagram pages so you’ll know when our next event is.
How does Jerusalem Village work with other organizations that serve young adults?
Jerusalem Village partners with a variety of other local organizations working to engage young adults from abroad, as well as many Israeli community organizations. Partners of Jerusalem Village help to expand the reach of our programs, provide creative ideas and feedback, and participate in planning and executing events as co-sponsors. Is your organization is interested in partnering with Jerusalem Village? Read more
How do you attract and involve Israelis?
Our partnerships with grassroots young Israeli organizations are key to attracting Israelis to participate in our events and activities. We work hard to build awareness among the leaders of these organizations about the need for a stronger welcome to Jerusalem from the young Israeli community.
Where do you advertise your activities?
Much of our marketing is done via Facebook, however, we have run several printed poster campaigns. Our partners play a big part in spreading the word about our activities and are great about including us in their e-newsletters and Facebook posts.
Are you planning to expand to other cities in Israel?
Right now we are completely focused on Jerusalem, but we think our innovative model could be successfully reproduced in other cities.
What is the main thing Jerusalem Village wants young internationals to know about Jerusalem?
Jerusalem is so much more than falafel on Ben Yehuda Street. If you take the time to get to know the city and participate in community building initiatives, you will find its atmosphere and people to be incredibly unique and inspiring.
Do you work with volunteers? How can I get involved?
As a non-profit, Jerusalem Village relies heavily on volunteers to provide their support. Our Executive Board plays the important role of guiding the direction of the organization, while members of our Advisory Board provide expertise and introduce us to important partners and sponsors. Finally, our planning committee works tirelessly to support our staff in planning and producing events that speak to the interests of the community. Apply to volunteer