Chava - חווה 

The Chava part of the program is centered around messima: taking social responsibility over our surroundings through service-learning volunteer placements. Workshop participants work as informal educators alongside Israelis in Hanoar Ha’Oved VeHalomed, our Israeli sister youth movement. Through their messima placements, they interact with Israelis from a variety of backgrounds: Russian-speaking Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Arab Israelis, olim, and working youth. Through this messima, they also experience the power of education as a force for social change. For the past few years, we have also offered a messima called Kvutzat Almog, which focuses on developing construction, fabrication, carpentry, and maintenance skills. This group has helped restore and beautify youth movement centers and other community centers. For more information on messima, visit our messima page.


The Chava living locations are chosen based on a number of factors. Ultimately, we want to ensure that the living conditions of the house or apartment that the participants are staying in is up to par with Habonim Dror's health and safety standards. We also ensure that the house or apartment will ensure the best overall experience and serve as a comfortable space for living and for programming. We recognize that the facilities in which Workshop participants live are integral to the success of the program, as well as to their physical and mental health. We also choose the city for Chava based on which messimot are available for the participants and the accessibility of public transportation. Chava is the first time that the group will have the opportunity to live together independently. This structure allows the group to build and develop their own framework for living. They will have to be responsible for the collective upkeep of the houses (cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc.) as well as their collective finances. This will enable the participants to further develop their interpersonal relationships with one another and to build an organic communal atmosphere in their daily lives.  


Week at a Glance


Free Time


Tzevet Meeting with Messima Rakaz (Service-Learning Coordinator)


Prepare for Friday Yom Peilut



Yom Machoz 

Getting Guidance and Learning New Tools for Being Leaders in  Messima




Yom Kvutza

Day of Programming Facilitated by Madrichimot (Counselors)


Prepare for Yom Peilut (Day of Activities)


Peilut for Chanichimot



Yom Peilut



Spend Shabbat on Kibbutz, Travel with the Group, or Participate in a Seminar

"Cooking is proving to be a really fun and exciting new challenge for us. We like to make lunches for the entire kvutzah the night before to take to messima the next morning."

Seminars on Chava

On Chava, Workshop participants have the opportunity attend several seminars. Each seminar will delve into a different topic and challenge each participant with its themes, values and content. Seminars include:

Mishlachat Emtza Seminar: This seminar is part of an ongoing process to build a relationship between Workshop participants and Israeli youth from our sister movement, HaNoar HaOved VeHalomed, who are on their gap-year equivalent of  Workshop. The seminar includes a number of informal meetings and a weekend seminar, where Workshop participants and their Israeli peers are given an opportunity to discuss themes of Jewish and Zionist identity, including individual Jewish identities and connections with Israel, as well as diaspora and peoplehood.

Jerusalem Seminar: Workshop participants will look at the significance of Jerusalem in Jewish civilization, the tensions it brings up within Jewish life, and the conflicts it brings up in Jewish-Arab relations and Israeli-Palestinian relations. They will discuss how they want Habonim Dror North America to respond to these dilemmas. Workshop participants will hear from many different speakers and visit various sites to learn about the city, its history, and these current conflicts.

Southern Tiyul and Conflict Seminar: Workshop participants will  learn about the dilemmas of defense and conflict by visiting Sderot, an Israeli city on the border with the Gaza Strip. They will learn more about the conflict between Israel and Gaza, the role of the army, and have discussions about defense. A central theme of the seminar will be to think creatively and independently about just pathways towards the future. At the end of the seminar, the Workshop participants will participate in a tiyul in southern Israel.

Homecoming Seminar: Towards the end of their year, Workshop participants will learn about what has been going on in HDNA while they have been in Israel, and discuss what they want to bring back to the movement and their communities in North America.  Two members of HDNA’s central office, including the Programs Director, will come to Israel to run Homecoming Seminar.

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© 2014 Daisy Mella