The teens arrive at “HaGal Sheli” from ‘Last Chance’ schools, youth boarding schools, youth improvement programs and institutions for youth with a criminal record. The teenagers come from low socioeconomic conditions, some with a criminal history who dropped out of the formal education system or were on the verge of dropping out.
By facing the unique forces of the sea and overcoming the challenge of surfing, the participants are instilled with the self-confidence and sense of achievement necessary to propel them through equivalent life challenges.
We strive to be a significant youth organization
that impacts the lives of thousands of at-risk youth
From vision to reallity
We are Omer and Yaron,
two friends who met 12 years ago as undergraduate students studying education. We had an immediate connection and quickly became best friends. Between studies and surfing, we came up with an idea to combine our passions – educating at-risk youth and surfing.
We began with 10 boys and girls we voluntarily instructed for a year. We made a deal with the group; we will teach you to surf under one condition: that you go back to school.
At the end of the year, all 10 teens returned to school. Their self-esteem soared, and we did not doubt that we were on to something. We noticed the tremendous impact and wanted to expand the program to help more boys and girls in Israel.
We quit our jobs, took out loans, bought surfing equipment and insurance, and founded “HaGal Sheli.”
Today, we operate educational surf centers across Israel, educating hundreds of groups and thousands of at-risk youth annually.
Yaron and Omer team up. Studying, surfing, and dream of greater things.
Launching a pilot in Tel Aviv, with a group of 10 teens.
Yaron and Omer quit their jobs, taking up loans. HaGal Sheli is born!
A yearly multi-step educational program is formed.
Grand opening of the first educational surf center at Bat Yam Riviera beach.
Launching a new educational surf center in Kfar-Galim.
Off to Portugal for our first educational journey!
The first ever staff training.
'Young mentors' program "takes off -the students become surfing instructors!
Launching Al HaGal social business, which provides decent jobs to our graduates.
The first softboard championship competition.
"Circles" program starts - intended to instill the graduates of our educational program.
HaGal Sheli’s team grows.
HaGal Sheli counts 1,000 graduates.
The Knesset Speaker Quality of Life Award
Midot seal of effectiveness.
Amir Suraski, graduate of HaGal Sheli, represents in the Knesset’s Special Committee for the Rights of the Child
Light up the Ocean! HaGal Sheli’s teens develop a unique product meant for night surf sessions.
HaGal Sheli hits an astonishing number of 180 volunteers.
Launching the documentary film "Ride the Wave"
First Commune joins HaGal Sheli for Pre-Army service year.
Grand premier of the documentary “Catching the Wave.”
A successful crowd fundraising campaign with "Bedakeh" for Smulik Tzivion allows us to open our third educational surf center in Kiryat Yam.
The fifth education surf center in Tel Aviv-Jaffa with partnership of the Australian Embassy
Establishing a new home in Jaffa together with partners from Australia.
We celebrate a new HaGal Sheli's surf center in Hadassah Neurim
Opening the seventh educational surfing center in Nahariya.
Opening the eighth educational surfing center in Ashkelon .
HaGal Sheli statistics
Growth and imapct
2022 in numbers
Boys & girls distribution
Distribution by religion
HaGal Sheli's multicultural approach
We all surf the same waves, use the same gear and are equal. HaGal Sheli’s educational program utilizes surfing as an empowering educational tool for at-risk youth. We are focused on cross-cultural peacebuilding initiatives through surfing. Our participants arrive from all walks of Israeli society, including secular and religious Christians, Jews, Muslims, boys and girls alike.
HAGAL SHELI’S MULTICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
Each of the group members face the same difficulties in water. The same waves, currents, winds and surfing conditions. Sharing the challenge brings the group together!
The joint encounter with the forces of the sea and waves generates dialogue between youth experiencing difficulties and challenges regardless of race, religion, or gender.
Teens develop leadership skills in a multicultural environment whose foundation promotes trust, nonviolent communication, and cooperation to nurture shared society.