Who we are

The Kotel Foundation is a governmental body charged with responsibility for the operation of the Kotel (the Western Wall) and its surrounding sites. The foundation also facilitates educational experiences that inspire Jews to deepen their connection to their Jewish heritage and to the Land of Israel, the national home of the Jewish people.

The Shahak program itself is named after Amnon Lipkin Shahak, an Israeli military officer and politician. Amnon devoted his life to uniting the different sectors in Israeli society. He believed that only through social responsibility and unity could the future of Israel and the Jewish people be guaranteed. We are proud to walk in Amnon’s footsteps and offer a program dedicated to Jews of all types and practices.

Our program

The spiritual heart of Israel, the Kotel, invites you to one of Israel’s most popular and unique Bar & Bat Mitzvah programs, Shahak. Join us on a fun, meaningful, and inspiring journey to prepare you for one of the most significant milestones of your life!

With a focus on our core values of meaning, belonging, and responsibility, our program is curated to tackle today’s issues in an innovative way. We reach back into ancient Jewish wisdom and values to teach you to be confident in who you are, strong in what you believe, and excel in the face of life’s challenges.

Through engaging activities, meaningful conversations, and other exciting surprises, we empower you to uncover your unique abilities and strengthen your connection to yourself, your family, your heritage, the Kotel, Jerusalem, Israel, and so much more.

Program layout

This Is Me! (one-on-one)

The bar & bat mitzvah is a transitional time between childhood and adulthood – and it is the perfect time for you to uncover your unique abilities, skills, character traits, and all that makes you… well, YOU! This year is an opportunity to come to understand what makes you special and to love being you, so you can help spread your light and joy to your family, community, nation, and world.

Our Parents, Our Roots (With Parents)

In this session, we will explore the values that have been passed down in our family through generations. Connect to the roots and people that have nourished you to grow and become who you are today! Enjoy fun and meaningful activities to strengthen the connection between you, the Bar & Bat Mitzvah, and your parents.

Writing the Next Page of Our Amazing Story! (with family)

Each one of us is an important character in the most miraculous story in the world: The story of the Jewish people. You are a link in a powerful and beautiful chain dating back to before written history. We help you understand what this means, both the power and responsibility we have in continuing to write a good story. Here you will foster a sense of pride, belonging, and connection to Israel and the Jewish people’s history and achievements.

Blast from the Past! 3D Virtual Kotel Tour (small group)

Explore the magic of the ancient and mysterious Kotel tunnels through a live virtual tour. You will have the chance to see archeological sites not many have the opportunity to see, and learn about the eternal city and its connection to the bar & bat mitzvah year.

Changing The World Starts With You! (Small Group)

During this special year,  you become an official member of the community; this is a privilege which comes with responsibility. Learn about social entrepreneurship,”tikun olam” and leadership and be inspired to make a difference by a leading social entrepreneur in the Jewish World who will share their journey with you.

Ready, Set, Fly! (one-on-one)

We wrap up our journey with an exciting closing ceremony live from the Kotel!

Cost

Free

Length

8 Weeks

Optional offerings at additional costs:
Preparation for the Bar Mitzvah ceremony

Join us for experiential and practical lessons for the ceremony itself. Learn how to read from the Torah with the proper trop (cantillation) & put on tefillin (phylacteries), all from amazing and passionate teachers from Israel.

Pricing: $47 / session (4 – 6 sessions recommended)

The Western Wall Tunnels 360 Family Tour

Join us for an amazing hour on a moving 3D tour with your own guide who will take you to see hidden underground treasures that convey the fascinating history of the Jewish nation in Jerusalem. The tour is suitable for groups or individuals. It combines film clips and unique illustrations alongside a “real” three-dimensional tour. The tour is guided by the best of our guides and you will even be able to ask questions and get personalized responses.

Pricing: $77 for a private group with personal guide

*Additional virtual tours available

The Jewish Quarter LIVE 360

3-dimensional virtual tour among the alleys of the Jewish Quarter

Please reach out for more information

Behind the Scenes – New Discoveries at the Western Wall

A Special New Tour – A 3D virtual tour that offers a fascinating glimpse into the new underground discoveries excavated recently in the Western Wall area.

Please reach out for more information

Bar Mitzvah ceremony at the Kotel

Come visit us in Jerusalem and experience a moving ceremony at the Kotel, with blessings, putting on tefillin (phylacteries), reading the Sh’ma, and of course reading from the Torah! (Please reach out to us for more information & pricing.)

Contact us
For additional information please reach out to us and we will gladly assist you!

shahakglobal@thekotel.org

New sessions starting after the High Holidays 🍎🍯

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