The Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva opened its doors in October 2015, bringing the Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and pluralism to Israel’s periphery. The Secular Yeshiva engages diverse populations of Beer Sheva and the surrounding communities of the Negev - as well as young adults from across Israel & the Jewish world - through a combination of educational programming, social action in underserved local neighborhoods, and inclusive public events for wide audiences.
The Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva opened its doors in October 2015 and quickly established itself as a thriving and vibrant spiritual-cultural center and hub for service-learning programs. The Secular Yeshiva engages diverse populations of Beer Sheva and the surrounding communities of the Negev – as well as young adults from across Israel & the Jewish world – through a combination of educational programming, social action in underserved local neighborhoods, and inclusive public events for wide audiences.
Until recently, BSSY activities had been operating out of different spaces (local community centers, etc.) throughout the city. In early 2016, the Beer Sheva Municipality allotted an historic building in the heart of the Old City for us to use for the next 15 years, with possibility to renew. We have begun a renovation project and in the meanwhile we rent space in a building next door.
Headed by Dr. Shimon Vaknin, a renown bible scholar and native Beer Shevan, the yeshiva organizes long-term service-learning programs for Israeli and international young adults. These include:
MASA Israel Teaching Fellows: several American young adults , spend 4 days/week teaching English in a public school in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the morning and volunteering with youth in Beer Sheva in the afternoon, and 1 day/week participating in study and professional development at the Secular Yeshiva (click here for more).
Garin Be’erot: 23 high school graduates joined this ground breaking multi-year leadership program, spending 3 days/week volunteering and 2-3 days/week learning), as well as weekly Beit Midrash programs, and special events.
Garin Nahal: 14 Israeli young adults partricipate in a pre-army service-year (Shnat Sherut) ar the Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva, studying 1 day/week and volunteering 4 days/week. In the spring they were joined by a group of 12 post-draft young adults (age 20-21) who completed their basic IDF service, and are now spending a year studying 1 day/week and volunteering 4 days/week in uniform.
With multiple part time-Beit Midrash options and many popular public events, the Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva continues to grow and we look forward to seeing what the future brings!
For more information contact Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva Director, Dr. Shimon Vaknin.
To support the new Yeshivat BINA in Beer Sheva click here.
The Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva
The BINA Secular Yeshiva in Beer Sheva is proudly funded by UJA-Federation of New York and supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest, Federation CJA Montreal, Posen Foundation, JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and additional donors.
Director of the Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva
Director of the 'Negba' Beit Midrash in Beer Sheva
'Negba' Beit Midrash Faculty
Eran Baruch – CEO of BINA
Eden, Tel Aviv
Becca Hartman, Tikkun Olam Social Action Track 2012-13 (Originally from Boston, MA