The question of how to sustain and maintain Jewish identity in a democratic State of Israel will be the subject of a daylong conference at the Knesset, May 27, 2010, expected to draw more than 400 participants and leading rabbis from all streams of religious thought in Israel.
The conference was set up by Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni, who told the Jerusalem Post:
The attention of the leaders and the public naturally is devoted first and foremost to security and diplomatic issues, but the challenges related to the character of internal Israeli society are no less important. We must work on developing the Zionist vision of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
Success dealing with the challenges of civil and social issues will make the state better able to deal with its challenges on diplomatic and security issues.
Hartman Institute participants include Ron Margolin, Ariel Picard, Gili Zivan, and Shraga Bar-on are scheduled to be the chairs of four sessions, at which lecturers will talk on various aspects of the subject. Margolin helped organize the panels. Hartman Institute’s Micah Goodman is among the participants.
“This is an attempt to have a serious conversation in the Knesset and discuss issues of Jewish identity and democracy in a rational manner,” said Ariel Picard.