Letters to the Editor

Time for the left to grasp the nettle

In response to Self-pity the left (by Uzi Baram, Opinion, December 18)

Uzi Baram is absolutely right, the left must stop its descent into self-pity and start creating a broad left-center coalition that represents the Israeli majority, including parties and groups that are not left-wing, but are pro-democracy. However he fails to mention one vital element without which his vision cannot be successful: Israels Arab citizens. Unless we Israeli Jews grasp the nettle, and cooperate with our Palestinian fellow citizens on the basis of full equality, the sort of democratic state that we dream about wont be created. We must not be ashamed to admit that we need them to build our future. Together we can establish a society of which we can all be proud.

Daniel Gavron
Motza Ilit

A much broader picture of Jewish pluralism

The series of articles celebrating Jewish pluralism in this weekends Haaretz Newspaper provided welcome coverage of one of the most fascinating phenomena in Israeli society today. While the articles focused primarily on the inroads and obstacles experienced by the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel, the picture is, in fact, much broader. 

Over the past decades, we have been witnessing a remarkably dynamic and diverse trend of Jewish renewal among secular Israelis. HaMidrasha at Oranim, a pioneer in this field in Israel and the organization which I head, has been leading Jewish education and renewal activities for secular Israelis, without affiliation to any of the traditional streams of Judaism, for the past 25 years. Indeed, this lack of affiliation has been critical to the acceptance and integration of our programs into hundreds of public schools, community centers, municipalities, kibbutzim and communities, for tens of thousands of participants each year across Israel. 

At HaMidrasha, we advocate a truly pluralistic approach to Judaism that is meta-denominational. In this spirit, and with the support of leaders across the Jewish spectrum, HaMidrasha is establishing a new seminary for training community Eretz-Israeli rabbis and spiritual leaders.  We offer an alternative that is organically Israeli, yet holds the potential to influence Jewish experience in a profoundly positive way, across the Diaspora. 

Dr. Moti Zeira, CEO
HaMidrasha, Educational Center for Jewish Renewal in Israel