Kulanu Ba’aretz is a two and/or three month vocational-educational study program enabling young men and women with special needs, ages 18-23, who want to spend an unforgettable semester living, working, studying, growing and touring in Israel. Our program is located at Kibbutz Shluchot in the Beit Shean Valley.
Kulanu Ba’aretz is an American partnership between Kulanu, an organization dedicated to including children with special needs in all facets of Jewish community life, based in Long island, N.Y. and Kibbutz Shluchot, Israel. This program is the brainchild of Dr. Beth Raskin, Executive Director, who believes that every child should be able to participate in a program in Israel, as do their peers and siblings. Dr. Raskin recruited Ken Goldman and Dvora Liss, the directors of the well-known American-style summer camp, Kayitz BaKibbutz at Shluchot, to apply their camping experience in facilitating a program designed for individuals with special needs.
Kulanu Ba’aretz is a unique opportunity for an individual with special needs to develop new skills, build self-esteem and independence, make new friends, and grow in a physically and emotionally safe environment. Our students are stimulated socially, emotionally and physically, often in ways they would not have at home while experiencing the spirit and culture of Eretz Yisrael.
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Participants join as members of the kibbutz and engage in the following vocational placements: cooking, dining room, laundry, animal care in the children’s zoo, kibbutz store, agricultural work, and maintaining the landscaping throughout the kibbutz. Daily work schedules are individualized, providing flexibility to accommodate our touring component.
Course work in self-advocacy, self-determination, social skills training, money management, functional reading, personal grooming and hygiene, basic Hebrew and Parsha classes are provided in addition to their existing academic coursework.
The program boasts a minimum of 20 days of touring throughout Israel including: the Galil, Golan, Negev and Jerusalem, major sites and some off the beaten path.
Students participate in daily classes in the arts, crafts, sports, dance, cooking and night activity programming. Kulanu Baaretz participants join with kibbutz high school students for night activities and other social events. Our participants also enjoy Shabbat hospitality at the homes of kibbutz members.
Sports, Crafts, Horseback Riding, Woodwork, & Swimming