Our Mission


KIVUNIM teaches students to interpret the past and understand the present in order to build and insure the future. The KIVUNIM gap-year program, upon which KIVUNIM Americas draws its inspiration, believes that Jewish Education must take place within a context of lofty goals and aspirations filled with optimism, tempered by reality and encouraged by the understanding that words have power and that betterment of the world is the central goal of the Jewish people and its religious and national tradition.


KIVUNIM Americas extends the gap-year’s geographic reach by moving it closer to home. Its students are part of a concerted effort to look inwards — at ourselves, at our histories, and at this half of the planet — and to share in that journey with the people they encounter. Teaching “world-consciousness” becomes tangible when it’s done out in the field, across North and South America. Building a future with less fear and more understanding becomes sustainable when we as Jews and citizens of the world can meet each other where we are — and have fun while doing so.


KIVUNIM Americas provides opportunities for participants from the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico to connect on a cultural, spiritual, and personal level. In a world increasingly defined by digital interaction, nothing can match the significance of a face-to-face encounter. This program encourages travelers to examine what it means to be Jewish — and reexamine what it means to be “American” — appreciating that there is room to change and expand the definitions of both. To accomplish these goals honestly and mindfully is to meet our neighbors where they are, learning from them and growing with them. The impact of the relationships formed during KIVUNIM Americas is invaluable. The conversation begins — in person — with a simple hello, hola, or shalom.