Our community goal is to provide former Haredim with a sense of belonging and support. Our dream is to create a strong, resilient and self-organizing community structure and leadership so that those leaving the Haredi fold do not feel that they are stepping into the void but rather moving from one close-knit, supportive community to another, a community that will mentor them and help them realize their potential.
To this end, we have built community centers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (HaSalon) that serve a variety of social and cultural purposes. Friday night dinners, social gatherings, cultural events, movie nights and courses offering creative outlets are some of the means we use to achieve community goals. Run by volunteers who are former Haredim themselves, the HaSalon centers are already developing community leadership and continually expanding the ways in which they meets social and cultural needs. HaSalon center play host to regular art exhibitions and events showcasing contemporary music and art created by former Haredim, as well as the musical and culinary heritage of the Haredi communities they left behind. Currently, the centers host hundreds of visitors per year. We plan to expand to more cities using a pop-up model in conjunction with local youth authorities or NGOs.
The strength of a community is measured in the achievements of its members, as well as their emotional and personal strength, the sense of mutuality and partnership, the capacity it has to produce volunteers and social activists, and to be a breeding ground for new initiatives and activities. We currently have dozens of volunteers, 70% of which are former Haredim, and serve as greenhouses for grassroots initiatives and the development of community leadership. We also hope to create partnerships with other communities and organizations and to expand our reach through collaboration.