The Adam V’Adama educational program synthesizes several key threads, thereby creating an educational model which is a “recipe for success”, helping our pupils grow up to be mature, responsible and independent adults.
In Adam V’Adama, we start each morning by connecting directly to the land. Our students rise early before sunrise and head off to work in the fields of local farmers.
Students are divided into groups, each with one of the school staff members. They then participate in varied agricultural tasks, including pruning, trellising, fruit or vegetable picking, and weeding.
The agricultural work educates our students to gain perseverance, professionalism, team-work, responsibility, precision, thoroughness, tolerance, care, and consideration.
Beyond the values gained directly by the students, an added value is that of the actual help and assistance they give local farmers, who are happy to encounter such energetic youngsters in their fields, and are amazed to find just how hard-working and responsible they are.
Thanks to the work and connections made with local farmers, our students come to understand to what extent agriculture is a central pillar in the state of Israel’s culture, economy, and security.
Matriculation exam studies
At noon, after a short rest and some lunch, our students begin the second phase of their day – study time. Their studies focus on the core disciplines required for completion of the matriculation studies, in addition to agricultural studies. The learning time is focused, and students need to show responsibility, concentration, and self-discipline.
Our teachers are skilled, learned, and experienced. They maintain a personal relationship with the students, show care and empathy, and attach considerable importance to their success.
Our 11th and 12th graders take part in a unique study-program based on practical training. Initially, students learn about all the necessary activities required to actually establish an agricultural holding. They then learn various aspects connected to researching their crops. Finally, they are expected to come up with agricultural initiatives, implementing creative thinking while seeking solutions to the many challenges faced by agriculture today.
During the afternoons, our on-campus learning centers allow students time to complete their homework and other assignments. The learning centers are operated by professional teachers, experts in learning strategies.
Special activities during the academic year
Trips and hiking – we believe that our ties with the land are not only forged by learning or spiritual contemplation, nor by using our hands to work the land, but that they are also created by using our feet to hike across the land. Hiking enables our students to get to know Israel’s beautiful landscapes and impressive terrain. But besides that, the students get to know themselves, especially in challenging moments, and they experience great joy, help friends, cooperate as a community, and learn the power of their own will and the power of the group as a whole. Trips and hikes in Adam V’Adama are backpacking trips, as we carry all our equipment – sometimes even food and cooking utensils – on our backs. We conduct several backpacking trips during the academic year.
Sabbath days, seminars, and cultural days-out – during the academic year we hold several “programmatic” Shabbat seminars. These take place outside the schools, each time in different locations. These seminars are organized by students – each time by a different group, with the help of an instructor. Students are responsible for choosing the location, the concept, the content, for planning the meals, and also the communal activities (Shabbat is observed).
We also conduct several cultural days during the academic year. On these occasions, we visit museums, theatre shows, and historical or heritage sites.
Enrichment, values, and social activities
The socio-educational program in Adam V’Adama, which takes place on a weekly basis, focuses on three major axes: spirit, body, and soul. Through these dimensions, the students get to each other, and to know themselves.
Spiritual enrichment – this is achieved by discussing values and moral issues, learning various fields of study through communal learning around the bonfire, or while on breaks from agricultural work, guided by students or staff. We also hold various lectures on subjects such as Judaism, Zionism, Israeli society, and Israeli military history.
Giving voice to the soul – this is done through arts and crafts, letting loose the creative voice of each student. We offer classes and workshops in fields such as cooking, woodwork, and music.
Developing the body – the physical aspect is key to life in Adam V’Adama, and our students are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A combination of gym classes and sport exercises helps our students build up their physical strength, required for their daily agricultural work.
Life on Campus
Living together – life in a boarding-school has many educational advantages. First and foremost, students learn to live together as a group.
Our program is open to both religious and secular Jews, to city dwellers, and to those who come from small villages or kibbutzim. This is in accordance with our vision of a joint Israeli community. Our students learn to know, and respect, each other’s worlds and views.
Group talks are held on a weekly basis, accompanied by a teacher, guide, or educator, and often by professional group guides.
Personal responsibility and group responsibility – our program prepares students for “real life”. They learn how to conduct themselves independently. All students are responsible for preparing their sandwiches in the morning, for washing their clothes, and for tidying their rooms. Besides personal responsibility, students share group responsibilities and are responsible for many aspects of the program, such as the agricultural work schedule, time-tables, studies and value content, trips and hikes, logistics, kitchen duties, and more.
Family atmosphere – living together creates a family atmosphere, and, like families, we enjoy doing things together, including celebrating holidays, birthdays, and other happy occasions. Prior to every holiday, student groups prepare festive meals and organize communal activities.
Contributing to the community – irrespective of where we are located, we aim to create mutual ties with the local community. Examples for such ties include working to create and restore local gardens, instructing local youth, celebrating holidays together, and other initiatives.
Life in a group
The notion of the group is a very significant aspect of the educational experience in Adam V’Adama. Our groups consist of students coming from both religious and secular families, from urban and rural areas, and from differing socio-economic backgrounds. Groups study together for the matriculation exams and undergo meaningful activities together during the school year. Each group has a head-teacher and an instructor who lead the educational process, together with educational staff and the appropriate emotional support, and in cooperation with students’ parents.
Life in a group of fellow students can create friendships that last for life. The groups help our students better understand – hands-on – the meaning of living in a connected, and yet diverse, Israeli society.
Trips and seminars
Seminars to become familiar with Israel and society
During the school year, weekend seminars all across Israel are held to expose our students to interesting areas and ideas regarding the settlement of the land, Zionism, Judaism, Israeli minorities, and more. We also hold cultural days – generally on Sundays, when our students take part in long periods of study discussing Israeli society, culture, history, and heritage.
Values such as love of the land and connection to the soil are best instilled through our backpacking trips. Through their feet, our students get to know areas of exceptional beauty and interest within Israel.
Over and above getting to know the lay of the land, our students get to know themselves better in moments of challenge, while carrying all the equipment they need on their backs throughout the whole trip.
The trips are always among the highlights of our program: during these trips, strong and special bonds are forged between the students.