Welcome to Shorashim

English (02/09/2010 09:31)

More than a community

Without a doubt, contemplating aliyah presents overwhelming logistics.  As you leave one life behind, you face tremendous uncertainty about life in your new home.

Founded by immigrants from North America and native-born Israelis, Shorashim (roots in Hebrew) is a community in the Misgav region of Israel’s Western Galilee.  We understand what it means to be an “immigrant,” and work hard to make your landing in Israel as soft as possible.  Shorashim’s people are truly special.  People who care, people who cooperate, people who understand what it means to be far from family, people who understand what it takes to be a true community.  If you are considering aliyah, consider Shorashim.

LOCATION Shorashim sits nestled in the rolling hills of the Western Galilee, just 4 miles south of Karmiel, a city of approximately 50,000.  Shorashim belongs to the Misgav Regional Council.  (A regional council compares to a county.)

BUILDING & GROWTH Playgrounds, a basketball court, scenic hiking and walking trails, and beautifully landscaped pathways planted with indigenous trees such as olive and carob give Shorashim its Galilee flair.  With an eye on preserving the environment, many plants and trees in the common areas do not require a great deal of water.

We are committed to growth and renewal.  Our new neighborhoods offer spectacular views of the hills of the Western Galilee, the Hilazon valley, and the coastal plain to the Mediterranean Sea.  We have made a decision to cap our population at 240 families to maintain a “small community” atmosphere where life is quiet and peaceful, a community where the individual can still have a say in community matters.

HISTORY & DEMOGRAPHICS Founded by a group of North Americans and Israelis in 1980, Shorashim began as a moshav shitufi, a collective similar to a kibbutz.  After privatizing in 1992, Shorashim is now a yishuv kehilati (community settlement) home to nearly 80 families, almost evenly split between native-born Israelis and immigrants from all over the world, including North and South America, England, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

COMMUNITY LIFE   For many of the immigrants, neighbors are more than just neighbors.  They are friends, family, and support system.  And for many native-born Israelis, Shorashim becomes the gathering place for relatives from all around the country.

Throughout the year there are events for the entire Shorashim “family,” including the Memorial Day/Independence Day activities and picnic, winter charity auction, and end-of-the-school-year party. Other ongoing activities include tai chi, yoga, dance and movement, basketball, and lectures.  Volunteerism is alive and well on Shorashim.  Committees take responsibility for everything from overseeing community management to organizing meals for new parents, to arranging youth activities and special events.

CHILDREN The Shorashim nursery, pre-school, and kindergarten for children ages 3 months to 6 years have earned a very distinguished reputation, attracting families from other communities in the area.  Optional extended day care is also available.

YOUTH  Schoolchildren of all ages enjoy a range of activities throughout the year.  The youth advisor is assisted by junior and senior counselors (high schoolers who are Shorashim residents).  The Regional Council offers a range of afterschool activities (sports, crafts, and enrichment) for school-age children.  Regional Council buses shuttle the children to and from their activities throughout the afternoon and evening.

EDUCATION There are a number of elementary school options in the area, including an Arab-Jewish school and an anthroposophic (Waldorf) school.  Elementary schools and the Misgav Regional Community High School campus are a short bus ride away from Shorashim.  The Misgav Regional Community High School consistently receives high marks in Israel. It is known for its outstanding robotics, music, and dance programs, in addition to excellent academic courses.

 SPIRITUAL LIFE   Shorashim is affiliated with the Masorati (Conservative) movement.  Religious services are led on a volunteer basis by the members of the community every Friday evening, Shabbat mornings, and on all holidays.  Religious services are egalitarian, with men and women participating fully in all aspects of synagogue ritual.  While not all residents participate in religious services, we emphasize mutual respect of the practices of one’s friends and neighbors.

To complement holiday services and study sessions, there are a variety of social and cultural activities such as potluck meals, family parties, carnivals, and other celebrations.

THE AREA AT LARGE  The Misgav Regional Council, of which Shorashim is part, consists of 35 Jewish and Druze villages sprawled over approximately 5,000 acres of the Galilee.  In addition to supporting the complete educational system and operating bus transportation, the Council provides trash collection and other municipal services.  The Regional Council houses the Council offices, schools (elementary through high school), health clinics, and a health/fitness club.  A full range of activities such as folk dancing, sports, lectures, and performances are held at Misgav throughout the year.  Shorashim is conveniently located four miles north of the Regional Council.

From Shorashim, too, it is a quick “jump” into the city of Karmiel for stores and malls, supermarkets, restaurants, government offices, and larger medical clinics.  Karmiel’s active cultural center sponsors professional theater and the Israeli Philharmonic, and hosts a popular dance festival every summer.

Although public transportation is generally accessible from Karmiel, all families on Shorashim have at least one car.  There are tax incentives for new immigrants who purchase cars.

If you are considering aliyah, and looking to be a part of a truly outstanding community, consider Shorashim.  There is no other place like it in Israel.

Shorashim  |  M.P. Misgav 20164  |  Israel  |Shorashim Absorption Committee