The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute is a leading intellectual centre for the interdisciplinary study and discussion of issues related to philosophy, society, culture and education in Israel. The Institute gives expression to the wide range of opinions in Israel, and takes particular pride in its role as an incubator and creative home for many of the most important civil society efforts to enhance and deepen Israeli democracy.
The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute views the cultivation and strengthening of civil society as one of the foundations of democracy in Israel and as the basis for an egalitarian, pluralistic, and tolerant society.
The Institute's activities are conducted in diverse forums: research groups, discussion groups, round-table discussions of key issues on the agenda, local and international conferences, and evening symposia open to the general public. Their goal in all of these forums is to encourage fruitful interaction among scholars in various disciplines, activists in the field, and those who devise and implement policy. The Institute's focus on civil society seeks to promote social responsibility and commitment. The Institute’s activities are divided into several main categories:
- Social Inequality and Social Boundaries
- The Center for Social Justice and Democracy in memory of Yaakov Chazan
- The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere (WIPS)
- Gender and Society in Context
- The Economics and Society Program
- Strategic Thinking for Education
- Civic-Political Thought
- The Van Leer Third Sector Forum (VLTSF)