Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator
Join the Movement
Hakhel is Adamah’s Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator, founded on the belief in the power of community to create and sustain identity. It works to revitalize Jewish life by building Jewish intentional communities of unaffiliated Jews around the world.
The Incubator provides communities with tailor-made professional support. In parallel, the global network of communities offers diverse opportunities for communities to connect and learn. Hakhel was founded in 2014 and it works in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. More than 140 communities, in 30 different countries, are now part of the network.
Join the incubator! We accept applications on a rolling basis
Become a community partner. Identify and fund local grassroots initiatives.
A Global Jewish Intentional Communities Movement
Explore dynamic new experiments in Jewish community
Hakhel communities are everywhere, from Palo Alto, CA to South Korea. They come from all Jewish backgrounds, have different missions, and explore almost every form of communal living from rural spiritual farms to Jewish co-housing.
We celebrate that diversity and encourage learning from and with everyone.
Click below to view the list of communities in each region
Hakhel empowers community building from the grassroots.
We seek out partners all over the world and bring them together to share, teach, and inspire each other.
Each community is set up with a professional advisor and is invited to a learning trip in Israel, an international annual conference and offered many other opportunities for networking, training, and growth.
Israel at War
Hakhel, the Jewish Intentional Community Network powered by Adamah, connects peer-lead Jewish communities all across the Jewish Diaspora with Israeli intentional community mentors who share the lessons learned from Israel’s inspiring communitarian culture. That Israeli civic culture was so vividly on display over the past 6+ months of pro-democracy protests all over the country, and now that same movement has immediately, powerfully pivoted to crisis response during this war.
Learn more about Hakhel from its leaders, Michal Guttman and Aharon Ariel Lavi:
Housed under the Adamah umbrella, Hakhel is a global incubator and network of Jewish intentional communities. It amplifies and strengthens new expressions of grassroots Jewish communities throughout the world, supporting them in becoming self-sustained, resilient, and rooted in Jewish wisdom, Israel engagement, and environmental awareness. Our 120 grassroots communities, like many of us, are holding a fierce duality these days: grieving and yet – hopeful, figuring out how to move forward swiftly in the direction of the current goals at hand. It is clear to us that supporting our Hakhel communities and network is a priority now more than ever.
We firmly believe that the way we respond and act within our communities during times of crisis holds profound significance. It not only reveals our individual and collective character but also showcases our collective potential for growth and resilience in the aftermath. We know that your attention is divided across many channels right now, and we are thankful to be sharing with you our work in these tumultuous times.
Since October 7th, this communal work has become our lighthouse. For individual communities, we’re mentoring leaders to overcome current challenges: how to maintain collective connectedness while feeling isolated, concerns about anti-Semitic sentiments, and strategies for alleviating top-heavy leadership roles.
When possible, the Hakhel team is seeking to meet up with communities, knowing that in-person connection is irreplaceable. Additionally, we’re creating online vibrant spaces for communities to come together and share. We’ve held multiple processing sessions to reflect, ask, and support each other. We had a meaningful gathering with intentional community members from Israel to share their stories of resilience and hope. We hosted a seasoned educator to provide historical context for the current war and have a pipeline of other experts to address challenges that our communities raise. We also partnered with the Varda Institute for Community Building to train our team on community building in crisis, to inform our work on the ground.
Our North American communities will gather in-person around the Z3 conference, a Palo Alto Oshman Family JCC initiative that aims to strengthen the cohesion of Jewish local communities and their connection to Israel. The intended outcome is for Hakhel leaders to return home and implement a local Z3 project, leveraging this unique moment in Jewish history and promoting Jewish peoplehood. We also are planning Chanukah offerings to engage and inspire our communities – and their local programming. (To stay informed as things unfold, please do join our newsletter here.)
As we move further into the Jewish month of Cheshvan, it is our responsibility to bring the sacred into the mundane and to keep our eyes on the glowing Chanukah candles on the near horizon. The darkness is real, thick, and disorienting – and we will move through it together – just as Jewish communities around the world have done for generations before us and will do for generations to come. After all, we have only just begun.
Aharon, Ariel, and Michal
Hakhel Ukraine Response
Since 2021, Hakhel has worked intensely in the past to support the war efforts in Ukraine and to help civilians on the ground.
Supporting Communities on the Ground
At Adamah and Hakhel, we had a three-part strategy in responding to this crisis:
Local Leadership: Ukrainian leaders knew their landscape and their needs. We were following the lead of Hakhel community leaders inside Ukraine and local rabbis working with refugees on the borders.
Collaboration & Partnership: We were partnering with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the European Council of Jewish Communities, Reut, the Jewish Peoplehood Coalition, and more, coordinating our collective crisis response efforts.
Global Response: We can all do something to help. The situation was rapidly evolving, both in terms of needs and solutions, all of which require resources and support. Sometimes our Ukrainian partners need volunteers, sometimes they needed equipment, and throughout the process they needed financial resources.
Here are just a few examples of what this strategy looked like on the ground:
Following up on our weekly meeting with our Ukrainian partners, we received the list of needs from the Lvov communities and are working to deliver what they need.
We were organizing another large shipment of food and equipment for the community in Medzyboudzh (the historical town of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism).
Hakhel led multiple delegations to the region. The delegations brought courageous leaders to support refugees and include medical staff, therapists, educators and logistical experts.
Since its inception, Hakhel has offered its communities a full incubation package. Communities are enjoying counseling, mini-grants, subsidized conferences and immersive trips to Israel, as well as various activities delivered through the Hakhel network. This support amounts to tens of thousands of dollars per community.
This year we have revised the mini grant criteria and process and are happy to share the details of this opportunity. We have designed a process that provides small grants that make a significant impact.
Each Hakhel community is eligible to apply for mini-grants to support the community’s activities and development according to the guidelines and criteria specified by Hakhel. Amounts range from $250 – $3500 USD and can support activities through June 30, 2024. Applications should be submitted in advance, through the following quick & simple application process, and will be reviewed by Hakhel’s Mini-grants committee. To make sure this funding is sustainable, the total amount of funding granted each year (up to $3500) will need to be matched by your community.
Mini Grant Criteria
Public Diplomacy: We want to support your community in actively addressing the evolving challenges of Israel and the Jewish people after October 7th. There are substantive ways in which you can influence the public discourse happening, either locally and/ or at a macro level – whether it be by way of an anti-Semitism campaign, an online initiative combating misinformation, or a gathering where you invite a local political or institutional spokesperson to rally on behalf of the Jewish people (to name some examples). There are many expressions of Public Diplomacy right now, and we encourage your community to consider what your collective assets are and how you can leverage them to create impact.
Israel Engagement: Now perhaps more than ever in our lifetime there is the necessity to enhance the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. Amidst worldwide hatred and increasing anti-Israel sentiment, we encourage you to consider the local community building events and initiatives you can pursue to strengthen your community’s relationship to Israel.
Communal Resiliency: Developing your community’s internal capacity for resilience and longevity is critical. Increasing the collective sense of belonging among your members will increase your likelihood of sustainability and impact in the aftermath of the events.
Please note: As much as these three pillars are the crux of our work right now, we absolutely also value the importance of maintaining the ongoing activities of Hakhel communities and not exclusively responding to the crisis. Therefore, please feel free to submit applications that also support you with the well-being of your community.
Lastly, please ensure your application is submitted prior to the activity date (ideally), to allow enough time for processing and consideration, as much as possible. Please follow up with your Regional Manager if your event is time sensitive and needs urgent review. We’re here with you to meet the moment at hand.”
Please check out our previous newsletters from over the years.
And to make sure you don’t miss out on what’s happening now:
Survey Hails Jewish, Israeli Aid Groups’ Ukraine War Response, Times of Israel
Jewish Millennials Drifting from Traditional Organizations, Jerusalem Post
The Empty Seat Next to You in Synagogue, Jerusalem Post
International Incubator Supports Intentional Jewish Communities, Jewish Journal
Hakhel Brings 11 Countries to Israel for Innovation Conference, Jewish Journal
North America Jewish Intentional Community – Builders’ Manifesto, EJewish Philanthropy
Jewish Intentional Communities at a Tipping Point, Nigel Savage