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Mr. Shmuel Friedman Ben Shalom

Shalom established a Hesder Yeshiva , a Seminar Center (Medrasha) for Judaism and one for girls, and clubs for new immigrants from the Ethiopian community. These enterprises led to the settlement of about 130 families in Yerucham and Netivot, and also encouraged many local residents to remain in their hometown alongside the new families.

Great motivation, a pioneering spirit and sound management facilitated the establishment and flourishing of these thriving institutions. The economic backbone for many of the projects is the  B'Yachad Seminar Center, which boasts a youth hostel (340 beds in 70 rooms), a field school and holds seminars throughout the year.

Shmulik's educational doctrine holds that the major challenge of Zionism today is coping with the loss of the sense of mission among Israeli youth as well as the social gaps between Ashkenazim and Mizrachim (Sephardim), rich and poor, religious and secular. Shmulik feels that development towns and neighborhoods have declined due to the flight of stronger populations from the development towns to the center of the country. He feels that the most important tool for turning around the situation is by reversing the trend and “importing” an idealistic population from the center of the country to the periphery, creating an integrative community based on mutual respect  and an environment that is conducive for attracting strong families to remain in the towns.

The essential cornerstone, he feels, for creating a community and effecting social change is to change the commonly held view that measures "success" solely on the ground of wealth.  Instead of this, he feels that the ideal should be one who worships G-d and strives to perfect his personal middot (qualities, traits). Shmulik educates his students towards these goals in all the various institutions he leads. Shmulik earned public recognition from the State of Israel for his activities on behalf of Yerucham and Netivot when he was honored with the lighting of a torch in the central ceremony on Mount Herzl, Yom Ha'atzmaut,   5766- 2006.

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