Tel Aviv has long been the center of secular Israeli culture. Recently, the city’s popularity has spread world-wide: Tel Aviv is now well known for its beaches, its non-stop night life, and its growing food, music, and dance scene.
In the wake of Tel Aviv’s expanding global reputation, many have sought to highlight the city’s intrinsically Jewish and Zionist character. In the last decade, independent prayer groups, learning circles, and Shabbat activities have organically emerged across the city. This bottom-up movement has been dubbed Tel Aviv’s Jewish Renewal– and its popularity is increasing around the city. This movement represents the city residents’ desire to create a Judaism that is personal, modern, and flexible.
Learning at BINA contributes to the renaissance of the Jewish Renewal movement in Tel Aviv. Our program is part of the increasing motivation to take Judaism into our own hands, creating an informed Jewish identity that best fits our modern and secular lives. And even more than this: learning with us indicates an understanding that the future of Judaism relies on diminishing the ever-growing polarities between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, religious and secular. There is nowhere better than Tel Aviv to be part of this revolution!
BINA has been running activities of Jewish learning and social action in south Tel Aviv-Yafo since 2001, and it was with great intentionality that our first Secular Yeshiva was established specifically in south Tel Aviv in 2006.
The neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv-Yafo are among the most diverse in the country. They are also among the most challenged, and in our eyes, among the most beautiful. The BINA Secular Yeshiva is situated inside Tel Aviv-Yafo’s historic “Ganei Hateva” (Nature Gardens), a green oasis in the southern heart of the city, in between the neighborhoods of Florentine, Shapira, Kiryat Shalom, Neve Ofer, and Jaffa, and a short walk from Tel Aviv’s commercial center and Rothschild Boulevard. These neighborhoods are home to Israeli Jews of diverse backgrounds (Mizrahi, Ashkenazi, Ethiopian, and other) as well as Arab citizens of Israel, and thousands of migrant workers and asylum seekers. Many residents of these neighborhoods are of low socio-economic status, and many receive service from the country’s welfare networks, while others are unable to access such services. BINA works with all of south Tel Aviv-Yafo’s diverse populations without discrimination.
Despite all of their challenges, each of these neighborhoods are home to their own rich culture, with cultural centers and activity, not to mention bars, cafes, and some of the best food in all of Israel!
Tel Aviv is the city that never sleeps. There are always new activities and events to take part in. Our recommendation is to join local Facebook groups that will keep you updated on all the latest concerts, parties, markets, and other Tel Aviv adventures.
Tel Aviv is home to synagogues of all denominations, as well as non-denominational or “secular-Israeli” prayer communities. To view a list of some of these communities, click here. Some of our recommendations include:
While studying at Beit Midrash TLV, you’ll get to enjoy life in Israel’s cultural capital – Tel Aviv! But being Israel’s most exciting city, Tel Aviv is also well-known for its challenging environment for apartment hunters. But you can do it! Here are a few tips to help you out:
Most Israelis use sites like yad2.org to find apartments. If your Hebrew is good enough, or if you know someone who can help you out, we recommend looking on a Hebrew site. The prices are usually better, and you have more chance to find an Israeli roommate.