SIDEWAYS

Sideways was founded in 2013 in response to the increasing number of Jewish youth finding solace in parties and drugs. The organizations founders Dena and Ron, together with their dedicated team members, work to provide young people with a new, refreshing and positive view of their Jewish identity, and to offer an alternative to the drugs and thrills which are particularly prevalent at these parties.

The Challenge

The search for spirituality, meaning, and happiness has led many of our Jewish youth into the world of rave parties in nature and festivals.

These events encourage youth to consume mind altering drugs, and provide them with the illusion of unity, unconditional love, and spiritual revelation, but do not provide support and treatment when the drugs take a turn for the worst. Because their experience is largely based on the drugs they consume, after the effects wear off many are left feeling empty, depressed and disconnected.

Our Solution

Sideways was created to provide critical assistance and an alternative Jewish spiritual response to the youth participating in these events. Together with the organization's staff, they establish a site at these parties, designed to give these youths a fresh new perspective on their Jewish identity, and to promote a sober lifestyle.

They are currently the only outside resource present at these parties; making them the first, and often the only responders in times of drug-related crisis. In recent years Sideways has been able to significantly influence thousands of people in this manner.

Who Are We?

Ron grew up in a typical secular Israeli home.  After his service in the military, he traveled to India to take a spiritual journey. After years of travel, Ron returned to Israel and earned a degree in Interior Design. During his travels and studies, he discovered something hidden in the tradition from which he came: Judaism. Later, Ron began to study Torah in a yeshiva. Today he is married with three children and is committed to inspiring those still in the rave scene.

Dena grew up in a traditional and observant Jewish home in New York. While in high-school, Dena moved away from the Jewish lifestyle and found sanctuary in the rave scene. Over time, Dena began feeling empty and confused.  She left the festival scene and emigrated to Israel. Today she lives in Israel with her husband and three children. 

Abraham

Abraham grew up in a secular Israeli family. He joined the rave scene at an early age and found himself in prison for a year and a half at the age of 18. After his release, Abraham quit the rave and drug scene and started a successful business. He is now married with 5 children.

Shlomi

Shlomi Grew up in a traditional family in Israel. He joined the rave scene at the age of 17. He also managed a contracting business for 5 years. He left the scene in search of something deeper, and is now fully observant. He is married plus one, and continues to work and learn.

What Do We Do?

Promoting Jewish Identity

An increasing number of our Jewish youth, both those from secular and religious backgrounds, are choosing to live a secular lifestyle.

We have set ourselves the goal of showing the sweet side of Judaism, as well as its depth and breadth. Sideways presents Judaism in a fresh light, appropriate for our generation, and provides a response to their burning spiritual questions.

The various components that are offered in the tent leaves a joyous and inspiring Jewish experience, which paves the way for a deep and genuine connection.

Provide Critical Support

Trance and Nature parties are chaotic musical events, heightened by the consumption of vast amounts of drugs. Often the drugs have negative effects leaving the person feeling physically ill or psychologically distraught.

We are currently the only outside influence invited to attend, making us the first responders when outside help is needed.

Our staff is not medically certified, and cannot take legal responsibility for damage that may take place at these events, but we are the only sober adults present at this critical time to provide assistance, treatment and support, preventing greater potential dangers.

Alternatives For Drug Use

Research studies have pointed out that to effectively impact on the extent of drug use among youth, they need to be provided with authentic activities, which are based upon positive experiences and undertaken together with genuine human contact.

Sideways staff come to these parties, which encourage drug use, and provide a spiritual alternative to the party goers. Our Jewish Tent site creates a calming and accepting feeling, in which the youth can experience depth, spirituality, and joy, without the need to use mind altering drugs. This direct contact allows our staff to provide the youth with a response to their needs at a time when their hearts are receptive, and they are willing to listen.

Dena connecting with young women at a festival

Ron connecting with young men at a festival

Stories From Festivals

Our encounter with young party-goers invites many exciting and heartwarming moments. Here are some of our stories.

“I’m A Jew”

Loud music is playing outside and many young people are waving their arms and dancing to the beat. At the Sideways site several young men are putting on Tefillin. A short line has formed near the Tefillin table and each

Read More »

“You Don’t Know…”

The bus is slowly approaching, the sun is beating down on my head and the light breeze isn’t offering much relief from the intense heat. The bus’s interior is air-conditioned, and I sigh with pleasure as I sink into the

Read More »

“Something New”

“I want to tell you something,” a young woman at the party says to one of the project’s members. The music roars in the background and the usual chaos of young people searching for thrills and losing their heads can

Read More »

Thank you for considering how your support can help Jewish youth

Young Jewish people in Israel are in search of spirituality and personal fulfillment.
Drugs and rave music may offer a quick and easy solution, but it takes very little time for them to be found wanting more.

Projects and Funding Opportunities

Donations via CFI (USA) and Neeman (Canada) are tax deductible. Donations via PayPal are not tax deductible.

Festivals and Parties

$700,000 per Year

Several nature parties are held in Israel each week. In order to expand our involvement and positive impact, we would like to be able to be present at a number of these parties simultaneously. Additionally, Sideways is interested in creating a presence at festivals abroad. These events attract many young Israelis and Jewish youth from around the world.

Equipment$70,000/year
Judaica$30,000/year
Parties in Israel$360,000/year
Festivals in Israel$148,000/year
Festivals Abroad$92,000/year

Shabbat in Nature

$8,500 per Shabbat

The next step for Sideways is to host Shabbat celebrations in nature, once every other month. These events will include meals and sleeping arrangements, along with workshops and an inspiring Shabbat experience. It will also give the staff the opportunity to deepen their relationships with those they have met, and introduce them to more positive Jewish experiences.

A Singal Shabbat For 50 Participants$8,500/shabbat

Open House

$65,000 per Year

Sideways is interested in operating an “Open House” – a compound which will be available for youth throughout the year.  The warmth that will greet them in the Open House, together with the positive and stimulating content we will provide, far away from the environment of the parties and the drugs, will help to strengthen the positive process that the youth began in our Jewish Tent site at the parties.

Rent$65,000/year
Household & Infrastructure$32,000/year
Property PurchaseContact Us

Letter of recommendation from Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat

“I am well acquainted with Ron Aharon Caras since the time he spent attending “Maayanot” Yeshiva in Tzfat several years ago. I am also very familiar with his organization Sideways, that he and his team are creating at festivals and parties for the past five years. Today there is a great thirst among Israeli youth from both secular and religious homes to find…”

Letter of recommendation from Hagai Brosh, Senior Administrator of Treatment and rehabilitation, Ministry of Internal Security

“I would like to express my full appreciation and support for the activities of Sideways’s work in nature parties; an environment replete with the use of drugs and substance abuse.
Your irreplaceable work in these events is saving lives in the most important way.
In the work that you are doing you are combining professional knowledge based on life
experience and a deep understanding of the basic elements contained in the growing party scene in Israel.This is reflected in the appreciation and acceptance shown towards your organization by the party organizers themselves along with those attending the events…”

Contact Us

Bringing Youth Closer To Judaism
One Party At A Time

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