Not only did Kivunim help me expand my knowledge on so many different topics, but also provided personal growth and discovery. I would not be where I am anchored today, or the person I am today, without Kivunim!
— AA 2013-14

informed future leadership 

KIVUNIM believes that the future leadership of the Jewish people must become better informed and more comfortable with the broader world in which we live. At the same time, we must become more knowledgeable about our own international roots and come to a deeper appreciation of the cultures and traditions that have actually created the Jewish people of today.  

The Jewish people is the “international people” par excellence.  But the insights and perspectives that could come from such experience and provide aid and wisdom to many of our contemporary problems cannot be applied if we do not know our own history. King Mohammed VI of Morocco says: “The Jews are more Moroccan than the Moroccans!” because they have lived in Morocco for over 2000 years.  He has issued a Royal Proclamation about the international importance of Holocaust remembrance - possibly the strongest statement on the Holocaust ever written!  Yet most assume an almost eternal enmity between Arabs and Jews.  There is so much to learn with deep and profound implications.

Of more significance of course is the remarkable integration into Jewish life of native language, costume, architecture, music, art, cuisine, worldview, and even skin color.  Expanding the horizon of what is “Jewish” can only assist in building greater inter-group understanding and ultimately increase the possibilities of peace and justice in more of the world in which we all live.


KIVUNIM often begins its travel program in Greece at the Parthenon working our way up through Chalkida, the capital of the island of Euboea, the historic Oracle at Delphi, the massive monoliths of Meteora, the charming old Jewish quarter of Veria and finally the magnificent port city of Saloniki in northern Greece... and then on to Skopje, Macedonia and finally Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. While exploring the cultures, politics and histories of these countries, KIVUNIM begins a year-long examination of majority/minority, God and gods, language and longevity, nation and nationalism and a massive dose of art, culture and “big ideas.” 

Other trips will take students to Morocco including Casablanca, Fes, Marrakesh, Taroudant, Arazane, Quarzazat, Erfoud, Errashadiya, Telouet and Merzouga for the Great Sahara (and points in-between). Students will also assist in the reconstruction of a 500 year old adobe synagogue during their stay. Later in the year they will journey to Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Sevilla and Cordoba in Spain and then on to Istanbul and Izmir in Turkey; to Berlin, Prague and Budapest in Central Europe and end the year in India visiting Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Alibaug, and either Cochin or Dharamshala.

Each trip is intensive, with a program on-the-ground prepared by experienced historians and travelers and geared to maximizing our 12-14 days periods to the maximum. In addition to obvious and normal tourist sites, KIVUNIM has arranged for unique and special experiences with fascinating artists, journalists, academics, poets, and the like in each country that we visit. It is through the human encounter that we learn the most about ourselves and the "other."