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Livnot U’Lehibanot – To Build and Be Built

Livnot U’Lehibanot – To Build and Be Built

Nestled in the mountaintop town of Tzfat, in Northern Israel, is Israel’s most amazing Experience program imaginable.

Livnot U’Lehibanot To Build and Be Built, has, through the years, woven an integrated program for people coming for one week, two weeks, or several programs combine hiking, seminars, workshops, experiential activities, community service work, and excavations of Tzfat’s Old Jewish Quarter. The programs allow participants to come to their own understanding of Israel and of the Jewish World.

There’s nothin like a birthright with Livnot U’Lehibanot. It’s been four years since I had the pleasure of doing this program and it’s still so incredibly vivid in my mind. It really is a life changing experience and I would recommend it to anyone. Not only is it a great chance to see the land, but there is just so much to learn from the people at livnot. I’m still in awe that it was a free trip. I actually just can’t wait to go back. I hope everyone is well.J.K. 2009


Livnot began in 1980 with a group of young English-speakers who came to Tzfat to excavate the ruins which lie below the ground. Throughout the years, little by little, subsequent groups renovated the rooms which had been unearthed, creating a labyrinth of

rooms which sat snugly below the streets of present-day Tzfat. These excavations continue today in a new area below today’s campus.

I had an incredible experience with Livnot. Like they told us over and over, the whole point is not to find the answers but to start asking the questions. I have so much more knowledge after my trip with Livnot and a lifetime’s worth of questions. It was a wonderful, mature way to experience Israel and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fulfilling Birthright experience. B.C. 2009


As time passed, the municipality and local non-profits began to rely on the Livnot participants to assist with public service projects. When the campus expanded to Jerusalem, participants of both the Tzfat and Jerusalem Livnot programs led the way in demonstrating the importance of volunteerism as part of Israel programs as they assisted in home renovations for the elderly and disadvantaged, worked in soup kitchens, packaged packages for the needy, and helped wherever and whenever their assistance was needed. This model has today been adopted by almost all other Israel Experience Programs as participants and donors expect that “Tikkun Olam” be a part of Israel programs.

Livnot was an incredible experience! I had very little experience with my Jewish faith and Livnot opened doors I could not imagine. The staff made it easy for me to be part of the group and ease into learning at my own pace. The thing is that the programming, learning, discussions, hiking, singing, singing and singing made wanting to continue my practice completely irresistible! Plus the opportunity to give back to the community instead of just observing made the experience even more meaningful. I suppose the best endorsement I can give is that I wish I were going back again this year, and the year after.J.S. 2009.


Livnot is famous for its Livnot hikes. Livnot embodies the belief that to know Israel is to walk it, to climb it, to swim in it, and to feel it in every way, Livnot participants feet part of the land of Israel in every way. The crowning glory of every long (longer than 2-weeks) program is a 3-day hike, when the hikers complete the Sea (Kinneret) to Sea (Mediterranean) hike, trekking through the valleys, hills, mountaintops and streams of Israel as they learn about Israel and Judaism step by step.


Each stage of the Livnot program is experiential, and none more so than Shabbat. Livnot is a program which encourages participants to experience Judaism, incorporating the Jewish traditions and beliefs which speak to each individual, and always looking towards how to grow, both individually as a Jew and as a member of the Jewish community at large. Through the Livnot Shabbat and other holiday celebrations, participants celebrate as a group as well as with families in the community, developing a connection with Jewish communal celebrations and traditions, as well as with local residents of Tzfat. Livnot’s MASA programs are specifically geared for this sort of adventure, since they encompass 5 months of the year, each of which is centered around a holiday season.

In Dec 2004 I attended Livnot’s Birthright 153 program, and from that day on Livnot has been a big part of my life. I was blown away by the Livnot staff and their incredible programming. Livnot has helped me to find my deeper meaning of what my Judaism means to me. By way of connecting to my Judaism through nature and community service in Israel has been an amazing road. I had such an wonderful experience with Livnot I returned on their 226 Galilee Fellowship in the summer of ’08. B.W. 2008

Livnot is a program which engages all the senses to provide participants with a Jewish beginning. As the Livnot founder is fond of saying, “Livnot isn’t for everyone”, but for those who ‘do Livnot’ it’s a life-changing experience which has the power to transform and awe those who are open to the challenge.