Bina strives to strengthen Israel as a democratic, pluralistic society, emphasizing Humanistic aspects of Judaism.
The death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 exposed the deep rifts in Israeli society, forcing many to reconsider their fundamental values and goals. Many secular Israelis felt there was no longer a common Jewish narrative and value system in Israel. Jewish continuity in Israel was at stake.
A diverse group of intellectuals and educators founded Bina as a forum for secular Israelis to explore their Jewish roots in a pluralistic, analytical, and creative way, with the ultimate goal of repairing the world. Our programs target on young adults: tomorrow’s leaders. In Israel, the mandatory draft forces young people to face questions of identity, patriotism, and ethics at an early age. Bina helps them learn about their Jewish heritage as they develop their personal identities and define their own roles as citizens of Israeli society. At the same time, Bina’s programs aim to inspire a lifelong appreciation of textual study and social justice. Bina sees these values as essential to a compassionate, Humanist national ethos, which is both Jewish and Israeli.
One of Bina’s most important projects is the Bina in the Neighborhood project. Bina in the neighborhood places groups of young Israelis in struggling neighborhoods where they live, volunteer and study together. Tikkun Olam, as part of this project, immerses its participants both in the communities where they volunteer, and in a community of young Israeli peers who share a passion for social justice.