Jewish Intentional Communities Conference 2020

November 9-16, 2020
Ye’arim Conference Center
Ma’aleh Chamisha, Israel

At this time we are sorry to say that the Hakhel Israel Summit (both the tours and the weekend JICC) will not take place in March as planned due to the Israeli Ministry for Health releasing a statement recommending against holding international conferences in Israel as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. 

The Summit has been rescheduled for November 9th-16th, 2020 !!! Israel trips will begin on Monday, November 9th, 10am, at Ben-Gurion airport. Conference-only participants are requested to arrive at Ben Gurion by 3pm on Thursday, November 12th. Shuttles back to the airport on Sunday, November 15th, will arrive there by 2:30pm.

If you are staying for the extra workshop day on adaptive leadership, you will be back at the airport on Monday, November 16th, by 2:30pm.

Regarding flights: We encourage you to contact your airline or travel insurance about rescheduling your flights for November. A letter from the Israeli government prohibiting the hosting of international conferences in Israel will be sent soon, and of course we will be happy to provide any additional documentation your airline or insurance may require. 

If you are unable to join us in November, you should contact your travel insurance or airline with an explanation of the cancellation- that the conference will not take place due to the advice of the Ministry of Health. If this claim is rejected, you should contact us with evidence of such and we will consider what steps to take on a case by case basis. 

You can down below an official letter from Hakhel explaining the situation to airlines etc., including a link to the Ministry of Health’s announcement in English. The letter has two versions, one mentions the new date and the other doesn’t. You can choose whichever suits your needs better.  A letter by the government itself is expected next week (but no guarantee, as it involves complex legal matters).

Click here to download the postponement letter   Click Here to download the cancellation letter


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Come celebrate the power of community

The Jewish Intentional Communities Conference is a joyous celebration of Jewish communities all over the world and an opportunity for people to learn, share, and collaborate.

Conferences are open to Hakhel members only.
If you would like to join our network you are welcome to apply.


Browse Photos from Past Conferences

180 people from communities all over the world gathered at Isabella Freedman for the 2019 Jewish Intentional Communities Conference to learn with, support, and inspire one another. It was beautiful to experience how all parts of our Jewish puzzle come together.

View Photos from the 2019 JICC

The Program

The Jewish Intentional Communities conference is designed for making connections, visioning, skill building, exchanging wisdom, and sharing the beauty of Shabbat together.


Stay Tuned for the 2020 Program

JICC Program Book Archive

The Beis
with Hart Levine

Come learn about community organizing and practical data tools, using a case study from one of Hakhel’s pilot projects – The Beis Community in NYC. You’ll learn about neighborhood-based, spiritual-oriented, mission-driven communities, and think about how to apply these tools and lessons to your community.

How to Create a Spiritual Jam Session
with Rabbi Ben Newman

Join Rabbi Ben Newman and members of Shtiebel for a spiritual jam session where you will learn how to create the perfect atmosphere for community expression. Bring your instrument if you have one. Chords and words will be provided.

Pop-Up Giving Circle
with Joelle Asaro Berman

Wondering how your intentional community can interact more meaningfully with one another – and with your surrounding community? Giving circles are spaces where we discover our values, and act on them by giving to others. This “pop-up giving circle” will give us a taste of the experience, and will empower us to give a real grant together.


Design Thinking
with Zohar and Gilit Ginosar

This is the time and space during which participants will acquire the tools to expand horizons, develop a context for their ideas and methodologies, and design their own future. Led by two experts in the field, participants will have the opportunity to experience the power of a global network through an idea-sharing process.

Hakhel Present Panels

We encourage you to attend a panel for one of the communities below that is different from your own community. Sessions include: American Communities, Co-housing Communities, European & Russian-speaking Communities, and Israeli Communities. The four sessions below will each be held twice. Choose one session to attend during each round.

Plenary: Israel-Diaspora Relations
moderated by Rabbi Sid Shwartz

Israel was born out of the Diaspora and has been supported by it since then. In the 21st century the traditional relationships between the Jewish State and the rest of the Jewish people are becoming more complicated. Hear viewpoints from Israeli and Diaspora Jews as they discuss the future of this relationship and our role as intentional communities in it.


Transformational Tools for Increasing Intimacy in Community Programming
with Melanie Kessler

How do you turn an event into a gathering, a holiday event into a party, and dinner into a heartwarming meal? For the past two decades, Melanie has created congregational programs, family-based schools, ceremonies and festivals designed to transform a group of people into a community. She will share tips and tools for how to encourage deeper levels of sharing, how to create rituals that inspire community participation.

Kenissa: The New Face(s) of American Jewish Life
with Rabbi Sid Shwartz

In a pioneering new national project called Kenissa (entrance-way): Communities of Meaning Network, Rabbi Sid is uncovering an array of organizations across North America that are re-inventing conceptions of Jewish identity and Jewish life. Many of these organizations are operating under the radar of the organized Jewish community and attracting the next generation of American Jews who are, for the most part, bypassing by the organized Jewish community.

What People are Saying…

The conference was an incredibly eye opening experience where I met people from all over the world and got the sense that I am not alone in building Jewish community. I hope to come back next year with my family and possibly even present.
—Allan, Atlanta Jewish Community

Our hope is that this conference will bring many of these people together, and that by doing so we’ll really kindle that spark.
—Nigel Savage, Founder and CEO of Hazon

The conference led me to question the pervasive values of our society. I have to ask what is important as I go into the next stage of my life. My husband and I have always been interested in living in a community where things are shared more but realized that it doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.

Become a member of Hakhel


The 2016 and 2018 conferences were made possible through the Schusterman Foundation