Shvilim is the name of the new program for young interested leaders of the Zionist Left, offered by the Berl Katznelson Foundation. It is a political social democratic educational program, based on many years of experience of the “Politikva” courses. It wishes to bring different sectors of Israeli society together by providing social-democratic content in order to manifest the different sectors as one force – an Israeli one.
The individual seminars are tailored to different sectors of Israeli society – Israelis of Ethiopian origin, Druse, member of the Kibbutz-Movement, as well as graduates of pre-army and leadership academies. In 12 weekly meetings lasting several hours, field trips, and a two-day workshop, the challenges of Israeli society, be it the Middle East conflict, Jewish-Arab relations, the striving for social justice, gender justice or the tensions between religion and state, are dealt with from a Zionist-progressive perspective. In addition, approximately 25 participants will receive an introduction to Israeli politics as well as concrete tools for political activists.
“Being a leftist is, first of all, a state of mind and not necessarily a political orientation.” “I acquired facts and arguments which help me explain what ‘left’ means during the course so that I won’t be stuttering again.” “I came in skeptical and went out optimistic, with a lot of energy to become active.” These are a few of the statements of the members of the Kibbutz-Movement after completing the course on August 6., which was this time organized by the Kibbutz-Movement. So how can the left become sexy again? “It’s not enough to talk, it’s time for action!”… demanded the participants’ moments before receiving their diploma. Not wanting to lose the momentum at the end of the theoretical part, they called for activism and decided to meet again in two weeks.
What stood out at the end of the course of Shvilim Kibbutzim is the wish to discover the common denominator of all courses in order to use it for fruitful cooperation. The Kibbutz members would like to produce content that can be used across all Israeli societies, despite the individual differences.
The FES is proud to carry out the Shvilim programs together with its partner, the Berl Katznelson Foundation.