Our 3-week long luxury tour of Israel for Grade 10 channichim.

What is Shorashim?

Habonim Dror Southern Africa is proud to present Shorashim, a life-changing Israel tour where Grade 10s have the most eye-opening, engaging and exciting three weeks in Israel with their friends. An opportunity of a lifetime awaits Givon this July. The programme is unparalleled – by visiting spectacular sites, venturing on breathtaking hikes, meeting fascinating individuals, and touring with electrifying madrichim, HDSA will ensure that your child soaks in every inch of Israel’s rich diversity and beauty. Shorashim is the best possible programme for any South African Jewish youth to experience the most of Israel.

Safety and Security

Over and above the educational content, our number one priority is the safety and security of every participant. The itinerary is created in conjunction with Israel Experts, and is approved by their security department, which maintains constant communication with the relevant bodies in the IDF. The Israel Centre of the Jewish Agency has also approved the airline carrier we are using in addition to every single place we will visit on the tour.

Channichim are never out of sight from Madrichim and our security guards on tour.

Why Shorashim?

In Depth, comprehensiveness and Educational Excellence
The depth and breadth of this tour cannot be underestimated. We are able to explore and tour through Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the North and the South of Israel.

But what is more important for Habonim Dror is that we offer real education around these cities and destinations. They are contextualised through well-educated madrichim, through experiential learning, through peulot and through Israeli experts. We ensure that Israel is experience in a real way so that it can be understood and connected with for the many people who are going there for the first time.

Diversity of Israel
On Shorashim we make certain that we look at the ‘fullness’ of Israel by ensuring that our Shorashimniks have a diverse experience of Israel.

On Shorashim, channichim are exposed to:

  • Religious Experiences
  • Secular Experiences
  • Minorities
  • Land of Israel: including swimming in the Kinneret, Sleeping under the stars in the dessert, hikes in the Negev and Masada, Shabbat at the Kotel.

Seeing Israel as part of a Habonim Dror group
One of the most inspiring aspects of this programme is the idea of your child spending 3 weeks with their shichvah. This group of channichim have been coming to machaneh for many years and created a strong group identity which this experience will no doubt solidify. One of the most important parts of Habonim Dror SA is creating a Jewish social network. Shorashim creates a sense of a national age group by uniting Jewish channichim from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and the Eastern Cape. Seeing Israel with Habonim Dror also means getting to explore the movement’s role in Israel, as well as visiting the Ghetto Fighters House to learn about Dror’s involvement in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Highest Calibre of Madrichim
The Tzevet comprises four South African and one Israeli madrich/a. These are the most experienced, dedicated and dynamic madrichim of the movement who are invested in the grade 10 year group. They will ensure that your children are safe, happy, feel a part of the group and inspired to be in Israel.

Jewish and Zionist Identity
Experiencing Israel with Habonim Dror will enable your child to engage meaningfully with their Jewish and Zionist identity. They will engage with the rich history of the Jewish people by visiting historical and religious sites, with expert tour guides and passionate madrichim. Shorashim is the only tour that will connect secular and religious Jewish youth to Israel in a meaningful and fulfilling way.

Personal Growth
One of the most fantastic results that we have seen by running this programme in the past is that we have witnessed channichim mature, develop and create stronger Jewish identities. The entire process is geared to making channichim more assertive and independent, to start them thinking about who they are, and what they care about.

Ultimate Fun and Rejuvenating
The programme is renowned for bonding and extremely fun experiences. The programme itself is filled with adventure style activities such kayaking at Jordan River, water slides and adventurous scavenger hunts in Israel’s cities.

Acceptance and Funding 2017

A selection process takes place every year, whereby every applicant writes a motivation and is interviewed by the tour madrichim and movement leadership. Habonim reserves the right to reject any applicant at any time. Criteria for selection include proven past commitment to Habonim Dror and a commitment to attend Sayarim Machaneh in December.

Habonim Dror Southern Africa has not turned away a single Jewish child from one of its events on account of limited finances. It should be noted, however, that the depreciating Rand has resulted in a slight increase in the cost of Shorashim from 2016. HDSA has made every effort to combat the problems created by the exchange rate. The cost of Shorashim for Johannesburg channichim is $4040 and $4220 for Cape Town channichim. Limited subsidies are available however, over R500 000 is required in order to ensure that the 25% of channichim needing subsidies can experience the best three weeks of their lives. Your assistance in this regard is hugely appreciated! Families needing financial support for this programme can request so by emailing (all matters are dealt with confidentially).

Once the programme is launched by the Shorashim team, channichim and parents can start the application process.

The first payment is a deposit of $1440 for all channichim, which qualifies them for an interview. These interviews serve to asses the commitment of channichim to HDSA in the future, and are used to communicate some of the more educational aims of Shorashim. The second part of the form will open once your child is accepted onto the programme, this will contain information regarding insurance, the medical form and other important information.

The cost of the tour is divided into 3 amounts:

  1. Land Cost – $2600. This is paid directly to Israel Experts, our touring company in Israel. 
  2. Flight Costs – Johannesburg Flight costs: $1170(international). Cape Town Flight costs: $1350. Both these amounts are payable to Habonim Dror Southern Africa.
  3. Admin Fee – $270. This is paid directly to Israel Experts, our touring company in Israel.

Rand amount – several ways: direct deposit (EFT), cheque, or cash
Dollar amount – Only by Dollar draft by cheque

Further information on payment, the itinerary and other important aspects of the programme with be communicated with you via email and at two parents’ meetings, the dates of which will follow shortly.

The Rosh Shorashim for 2017 is Erin Gordon. You can contact her on For any financial queries, please contact David Schwartz on

The Value Of Shorashim

Shalom Parents!

My name is Yael Noy and I was the young Habonim Shlicha in Cape Town in 2016. I was a maddricha on Machaneh Kol L’Chofesh 2014, taking the Sollelim age group. The following year (2015) I joined them on Shorashim in Israel as the Israeli maddricha on the tzevet, and in 2015 I was their Sayarim maddricha, leading and challenging them in peulot and learning from them once more. 

I was lucky to join the kids for these three consecutive events and with that, I saw what an amazing influence Shorashim had on our channnichim. 

Shorashim is a 3 week long tour that 15-16 year olds get to explore Israel from a first-hand experience. After working with several programs that bring youth from the diaspora to Israel, if you ask me, Shorashim is one of the best Israel programs that are offered.

The kids get to explore Israel fully, from North to South and from left to right. Being exposed to all the different topics, current issues, history of the land and people, and get involved in the spiced up diverse Israeli culture. This is a strong emotional, cultural and educational journey, and believe me, they learn way more than we can realise. 

Learning about most topics to do with Israel can’t be fully understood by textbooks or through the media especially when we want to form and create our own opinions. In order to fully feel what it is to be a Jew and to get that unique feeling of belonging to Israel, being physically there is essential. 

Taking a look at the social aspect, this usually sets the tone of the whole program for the kids.

A friendly safe and fun environment is what they need to make this trip successful.

Shorashim includes all their closest friends, and their friends from different cities that they know deeply from camp. Their maddrichim are also a huge game changer, since they have made amazing connections on camp. Going on a tour when the guide in charge is as close to you as an older brother, knowing you can trust the madrichim and that the kids can approach them for anything isn’t something you find anywhere else. 

Educationally, gaining a full understanding and seeing with their own two eyes the current conflicts within the Israeli society, knowing that the channichim are mature enough to deal with a wide range of topics will allow them to be challenged and start questioning their own knowledge because they can now understand the complexity of many situations in Israel.

Other than education, clearly this is an unbelievably fun tour. They will hike, swim, sing, take an endless amount of selfies, shop, try new foods, flavors and see the natural beauty of Israel. From crazy vibrant Tel Aviv to the calm Kibbutz up north, to spiritual Jerusalem, to snorkeling in the Red sea and lots and lots more.

Seeing the spark in the eyes of the channichim that I took on Shorashim 2015 was impeccable. Every morning they would wake up happy and just waiting to go explore more. The curiosity that grew in them was burning like a wild fire. Wanting to learn and engage more, step by step. I think that we actually realised how much they learned only on this recent Sayarim Machaneh. During the different discussions and peulot, we could see how much they gained from being in Israel. The gap between the understanding and knowledge between the channichim that went on Shorashim and the ones that didn’t was massive. They were able to see things differently and to tell their friends from their personal experience. 

I truly wish that every Sayarim channich could go to Israel before machaneh, knowing that they will be dealing with many topics during camp, and Shorashim seems like the only way to do so. 

As an Israeli, I think that for the diaspora Jews, Israel is a second home, and you can’t feel that without being there and having the experiences that you will get from Shorashim.

I fully agree when they say that Shorashim is a life changing experience. 

Yours truly,
Yael Noy
Cape Town young Shlicha 2015-2016
Shorashim Maddricha 2015