Yachad’s Core Principles

1) EXPERIENCE IT! Yachad uses 21st C. educational practices to create meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for teens.  Learning will be integrated in real world and hands-on experiences through the “city as the classroom” model.  Learning will focus on critical thinking skills and collaboration with others.  Integration of the arts, E-learning, and online tools will be a part of most experiences.

2) Rooted within a JEWISH FRAMEWORK, Yachad makes learning personal, relevant, and applicable. Programming experiences are offered within Yachad’s Five Pathways:

  • Israel: What is my connection to Israel – the land, history, people, culture, music, politics, dance, and religions?
  • Peoplehood: How am I connected to “Am Yisrael” the People of Israel?
  • Past, Present & Future: How will the history of the Jewish people help me navigate the present and prepare for the future?
  • Connectedness: What does it mean to be spiritually connected? What touches my soul, grounds me, and makes me sense the Divine?
  • Tikkun Olam: What will I do to be a responsible citizen in the world?

3)  MAKE CHOICES: Yachad teens engage in the learning process through co-creation. Yachad puts teens into the driver’s seat by allowing them to make guided choices about what they want to learn, how they want to learn, and when they want to learn.  Teens are able to guide and personalize their overall learning plan within their busy schedules.  Teens have an unprecedented and unparalleled menu of learning experiences allowing them shape their learning in meaningful and purposeful ways.

  • Creating On-Ramps – Yachad offers a variety of new engagement opportunities (on-ramps) for teen engagement. Teens are introduced to a variety of engagement opportunities that we call “experiences”.
  • Certifications Yachad provides a series of specialized and/or interdisciplinary experiences to receive certifications in specialized areas, including Camp Staff, Madrichim (teaching assistants), Inclusion, Israel Advocacy, etc.
  • Graduation Yachad seniors participate in a special ceremony as we celebrate and recognize their accomplishments in their Jewish educational journey.

4)  BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: Yachad teens participate in an expanded social network and community where both academic and social learning are critical.  Friendships are fostered within this dynamic, pluralistic environment.  Teens will explore pluralism firsthand through peer to peer relationships in addition to relationships with mentors, faculty, clergy and community leaders.  Through these relationships, teens explore and develop who they are as individuals in the community and the world.

5)  MAKE AN IMPACT: Yachad teens take action in the world through service learning, advocacy, the arts, and philanthropy.  Yachad teens experience that they have a voice and they learn how to express this voice in positive, proactive ways.  Teens encounter the Jewish community and engage in change endeavors locally and around the world.


Teens will frame their experiences around three primary essential questions, allowing for cross-disciplinary collaborations and discussions.

  •  Identify: Who am I?
  •  Connect: How does this experience connect to myself and to others?
  •  Take Responsibility: What will I offer to the world?