In a year with so little to smile about for many Israelis, few interviews on national TV have brought as much to so many as the one conducted by Rafi…
Why aren’t you voting? Why don’t those American Jews who express so much care and concern for Israel and her policies, just come over here and vote? For Jews around the world it’s real easy to get the vote in Israel: You just make Aliyah...
Haim Hefer one of Israel's unquestionable cultural icons, and Israel Prize laureate, died yesterday in Tel Aviv at the age of 86. His coffin will be in public view in…
This article was commissioned by Makom for the second Global Jewish Forum, and is edited from in-depth consultation with experts in the field.
The relationship between the State of Israel and its Haredi population is of concern to the entire Jewish world. From the economic and social instability of an exponentially growing community of non-productive citizens, to the unsavory headlines about extreme and violent behavior, it is clear that a policy of laissez-faire can no longer be tolerated.
Yet how might we characterise the problem facing us? Is this a fundamental issue threatening the Jewish and liberal identity of the State of Israel? Or is this an issue of failed public policy that needs to be re-thought? (more…)
One of the most difficult series of questions in the Jewish world today concerns demography. How many Jews actually exist in the world today? What is happening to the Jewish population in different centers of the world? What are the relative shares of Israel and Diaspora in the overall Jewish population of the world? And as important as the numbers themselves are, the really crucial questions lie underneath the surface.
What is the meaning of the numbers? What is the nature of the changing balance of demographic power between the State of Israel and the Diaspora as a whole? What trends do they suggest? What are the implications of today’s numbers for tomorrow’s future? And perhaps the most difficult question of Jews for those who spend their lives counting Jews: Who, exactly do you count? In other words, for the purpose of demographic calculations, who is a Jew?
This activity explores the notion of “home” and employs artistic technique to make the topic personal and relevant to the students. The activity seeks to discuss the sacrifices and choices one makes when deciding where and why to set up a home, and what the ramifications of this prioritization are for you and those around you. (more…)
In this session, the students will debate the true meaning of what it means to be a Zionist today. Armed with a short text study, they will advocate for fictional stereotypes of various Zionists. (more…)
Israel absorbs nearly one million Jews from the Former Soviet Union: Click here for downloadable pdf.
> Click here for printable pdf. Click here for printable pdf.
The destruction of the First Temple and the exile of the elites to Babylonia were of course a huge shock to our system, theologically, socially, and politically. It seems that the people’s expectation, encouraged by the prophets, was that this punishment would be a harsh but passing blow – that in the near future God would relent and accept our repentance and restore our sovereignty and our connection to Him through the Temple ritual (see, for example, Jeremiah 29). And indeed, so it happened – with the Persian conquest of Babylonia, a new policy was instituted, and the emperor Cyrus allowed the restoration of autonomy in Judah and the rebuilding of the Temple (but not, significantly, the restoration of the monarchy!) just 50 years after the destruction. Therefore it is remarkable that the response was . not a mass return, but rather a trickle, with many of the exiles choosing to stay in their new home. And thus was created the model of Diaspora Jewish life coexisting with a Jewish state. Moreover, the process of rebuilding and reorganizing the community in Israel was difficult and frustrating, and didn’t look much like the promised redemption. The period of Shivat Tziyon therefore offers suggestive parallels to our own modern situation of Israel-Diaspora coexistence. This unit explores the somewhat sketchy historical knowledge we have of the period, focusing on the apparent dilemmas raised by the exiles’ ambivalent response to the possibility of restoration.