A Wall in Its Midst
Breaking stigmas and building bridges
(ultra-Orthodox) and non-Haredi
student populations in Israel
and providing Haredi students with the help
they need to succeed in academia.
How and why did we start Beliba Choma?
Beliba Choma was born in late 2010, in the midst of the struggle against the "Law of Avrachim" in Israel Which was a breaking point between ultra-Orthodox and secular. A group of secular and ultra-Orthodox activists decided to set up the project
Beliba Choma provides support to the rising trend among the ultra-Orthodox population to integrate into higher education institutions - more than 13,000 ultra-Orthodox students attend universities and colleges in Israel.
We believe that ultra-Orthodox, secular, and religious young people can build a foundation for better society together through shared work, shared learning, personal recognition, and removal of stigmatization. In our opinion, this is the only way to secure the future of the State of Israel.
The program matches ultra-Orthodox and non-ultra-Orthodox students into study pairs.
Each pair meets once a week for 3-4 hours. For the first two hours the non-ultra-Orthodox student tutors the ultra-Orthodox student in core subjects (such as English, math, science, etc.), and in the remaining time the pair learns a Jewish text of their choice together, using it as the basis for discussion, the exchange of ideas, and understanding.
This interaction enables the two students to get to know each other on a deeper level, leading to a lowering of borders and negative stigmas and even results in true friendships.
In addition, all the program participants meet together several times a year for joint activities. The purpose of these gatherings is to enable the participants to meet each other, learn more about Israeli society, discuss issues facing the ultra-Orthodox and secular worlds, and create a sense of connection.
After finishing the program, participants can join the alumni network. Alumni make personal connections and grow their networking circle, are exposed to various opportunities and receive assistance from Landmarks staff in transitioning into the world of employment.
In addition, alumni serve as the spokespeople of the program among their communities.
• Expanding the program’s scope and distribution: We plan to increase the number of participants over the next two years and reach the goal of creating at least 600 study pairs each year.
• Expansion to other areas of the country: Haifa, Ashdod, Safed and other areas
• Meeting the target of less than 10% dropout rate among ultra-Orthodox students participating in the project.
• Personal accompaniment and providing professional tools for program alumni during their integration into the employment market.