Tourism with a purpose
Pnima is a sustainable, experiential tourism initiative designed to provide local and international tourists with an experience that takes you inside the fabric of Israeli society, connecting you to communities and social entrepreneurs committed to social change.
Our model of tourism is sustainable, responsible, and provides economic benefits to the communities we visit, making positive contributions towards preserving their culture. All trips are totally customizable.
Pnima has the capacity to host you on a half-day, full-day, week-long, and month-long trip - whatever your travel needs are!
Exploring Israel Inside and Out
Afula is located in Israel’s north in the Jezreel Valley, and it is known as the “Capital of the Valley.” While off the beaten path for most tourists, Afula has a very special energy that you won’t want to miss! The town itself, with a population of around 42,000, is mainly home to manufacturing of various kinds. But it’s municipal market is a true diamond in the rough! Young adults are choosing to leave Israel’s crowded center and build their lives in this town in the Lower Galilee. After taking part in one of our tours, we promise that you won’t look at Afula the same way again!
A majority Arab city, with large Druze and Christian minorities, Shefar’am sits in the Upper Galilee and is home to a church, a mosque, and a synagogue all on the same block. Built over hills and valleys, the topography and the architecture of the city are also very unique. Get ready to immerse yourself in the culture as young adults of the Druze community will be your tour guides around the city!
Israel is a multicultural society, and over 20% of the population consists of minority groups. The issue is that, for the most part, these groups are located in separate neighborhoods, cities, and towns. Haifa is known as one of only three ‘mixed cities’ with over 10% of the population consisting of Muslim and Christian Arabs. This diversity and the unique challenges that it creates, makes for a great meeting space between tourists and locals to discuss the creative and innovative ways this city thrives.
Beit Shemesh is located in the center of the country, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In the past ten years, Beit Shemesh’s population has exploded, increasing by over 62%. The city is mostly made up of religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews. In spite of socio-economic difficulties, the city is experiencing urban renewal and development which is attracting various entrepreneurs and social initiatives to set up shop and to work hand in hand with the local community.
Gedera is one of Israel’s oldest cities, founded in 1884. A small city in the center of Israel, Gedera is starting to expand and branch out as one of Israel’s fastest growing locales. The city boasts many large immigrant communities, notably the Ethiopian community whose narrative is tightly woven into the fabric of Gedera itself. This is a must-see place for those wanting to explore the richness and complexity of the Ethiopian experience in Israel.
Be’er Sheva, the Negev’s capital, has been seen in the eyes of many as simply a way station for other destinations in the Negev. However, without much fanfare, Be’er Sheva is in the midst of an incredible transformation, and it’s story is very relevant for the development of the Negev. It is known for its vibrant student life and social scene. Boasting a population of 250,000, Be’er Sheva is the metropoline of the South that still feels like a small, tight-knit community. One of seven cybersecurity capitals in the world, Be’er Sheva is building a futuristic innovation quarter that will connect Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka Hospital, and the Gav Yam High-tech Park. And that’s just barely scratching the surface!
Ofakim, located in the Western Negev desert, is a traditional “development town.” Development towns were built in Israel in the 1950s, typically in the periphery, to host the large influx of Jews coming to Israel mostly, but not all, from North Africa. Development towns were often destined for stagnation, not really encouraged to develop beyond their tradition, blue collar industries. The town’s name, though, translates to “horizons,” and residents there are really looking to the future to greatly expand their horizons beyond the borders originally set for them.
As a way of modernizing society, Israel together with Bedouin leaders worked to form seven recognized Bedouin cities, Segev Shalom being the newest. The role of women in their society is a much debated issue, and today in Israel, Bedouin women are the most underemployed segment of the population. Come explore Segev Shalom through the eyes of a Bedouin woman activist who is working hard to preserve Bedouin culture while helping women get ahead.
With one of the most breathtaking views in all of Israel, Mitzpe Ramon boasts a rich, if yet still underground, tourist experience. It sits on the edge of the world’s largest crater made by erosion, called Maktesh Ramon. The population may be tiny (just over 5,000 people), but the character of this place is huge. Four professional schools call Mitzpe home – people come from all over Israel to learn dance, theater, circus, and more. The artistic vibes are influenced by gorgeous desert scenery.
Rahat is the largest Bedouin city in the Negev with a population of 65,000 residents. Traditional Bedouin society was based on a nomadic lifestyle and strict adherence to local traditions. With the creation of the State of Israel and the influx of modernity, the Bedouin population is in the midst of a significant transformation. Over 55% of the population of Rahat is under 18, and there are significant challenges facing society, predominantly issues around employment and the role of women. To address some of the employment challenges, the first Jewish-Bedouin industrial park was established on the outskirts of Rahat.