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Shalom Hartman Institute will host an emergency conference on Thursday, January 20, to address the increasing prejudice against Arab citizens of Israel, promoted in the guise of Jewish tradition. This has become one of the most pressing challenges facing Israeli society today.

In his recent article, “What No Rabbi in the World Outside Israel Would Ever Say,” Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute, said, that as distinct from the past, “the vast majority of Israelis from a wide spectrum of religious and political beliefs…have not been silent; a continuous flow of headlines, editorials, and petitions have given expression to the revulsion that most Israelis feel towards these recent outbursts of prejudice.”

Faculty and staff at the Shalom Hartman Institute were pivotal in creating many of these headlines, editorials, and petitions. However, the common sentiment at Hartman was that words were not enough – it was time to move into action.  The goal of this inaugural conference, Planting Tolerance, Uprooting Prejudice in Israel, is to establish Tu B’shvat – the date of the founding of the Israeli Parliament – as Israel’s national day of tolerance.

This inaugural  event, which will be held at the Hartman Institute campus in Jerusalem, will feature lectures and panel discussions by a wide range of politicians, social activists, academics, and representatives of the media, all of whom who have at least one thing in common: the understanding that we cannot remain silent on this issue.

Distinguished speakers will include Knesset members, SHI scholars, rabbis representing a range of denominations, and prominent media figures including:

 Adi Arbel, Adina Bar-Shalom,  Shraga Baron, MK Zeev Bielski, Dr. Meir Buzaglo, Dr. Arik Carmon, Shaul David, Former MK Zehava Galon, Rabbi Yehuda Gilad, Dr. Micah Goodman, Yisrael Harel, Dr. Noah Hayut, Advocate Ali Heidar, Dr. Muhammed Hourani, Dr. Dror Idar, Rabbi Advocate Gilad Kariv, Brigadier General (ret) Ron Kitri, Vadim Klebayev, Prof. Menachem Lorberbaum, Rami Lustig, Prof. Ron Margolin, Rabbi Dr. Ariel Picard, Channa Pinchasi, Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Advocate Oded Ravivi, Sophia Ron-Moriah, MK Nachman Shai, Yair Sheleg, Roni Yavin, Ben-Dror Yemini

See the full conference program (in Hebrew) for details, and register now to participate.  The conference will take place from 3:00 pm-8:30 pm at the Shalom Hartman Institute, 11 Gedalyahu Alon Street, Jerusalem. For further information, call +972-2-567-5322.

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On January 12-13, Hartman Institute executive staff and scholars will participate in the “Israel 2021 Conference ,” an event sponsored by The Marker newspaper and the Reut Institute. The conference will assemble hundreds of participants around 150 round tables moderated by experts in diverse fields to discuss what has been defined as the most pressing socioeconomic issues in Israel today, with an eye to developing solid strategies for the future of Israeli society. Guest speakers at the event will include Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fisher.

Hartman executive staff and scholars will participate in the following round-table discussions:

Education – This discussion will examine methods for enhancing governance in the education system, such as creating and implementing long-term policies, improving infrastructure, and identifying major challenges. Participants from the Hartman Institute will include Executive Director Hana Gilat, Shraga Bar-On, Be’eri program director Dani Elazar, and director of the Be’eri School for Teacher Education Rani Jaeger.

Arab society and economic growth – 56% of Israel’s Arab citizens are economically disadvantaged, not having benefited from the opportunities of Israel’s economic growth. How can the government rectify the situation? Weighing in from the Hartman Institute are Rabbi Dr. Ariel Picard, Dror Yinon, and Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi.

Integrating the ultra-Orthodox sector into the Israeli economy and labor force – How can members of the ultra-Orthodox sector most effectively become integrated into Israel’s labor market? Participating in the discussion from the Institute are Channa Pinchasi, Shraga Bar-On, and Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi.

Israel quantum leap:  economy and society  –  How can Israel generate a quantum leap in its society and economy for the benefit of generations to come? Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, president of the Institute, and Channa Pinchasi will participate in the discussion.

Get more information about “Israel 2021 Conference,” or register now.

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Every month, we open the doors of our campus to the world—at least online— via the Reflections newsletter and share with you some of the ideas that have been percolating in the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought think tank.

In Reflections #10 , SHI scholars bring into focus ideas, traditions, and texts that are centuries old, while highlighting their relevance to Judaism today.

  • What do adultery and Messianism have in common? SHI fellow Dr. Yair Eldan introduces a new way of interpreting the Mishnah in “The Larger Reading,” showing how seemingly unrelated Mishnahs in each tractate are connected by important overarching, themes. In Tractate Sotah, the adulterous woman is depicted in parallel with the metaphorical “adultery” of the Jewish people whose zealous pursuit of the Messianic idea leads them to forget about God.
  • A dragon, a warrior, a king, three thieves, and a simple cook are just some of the characters who populate the pages of “Self-Denial and Temptation” by Prof. Rella Kushelevsky, a collection of Hebrew stories from 13th century France. Now in print for the first time, these stories defy expectations of Jewish literature of the period, and show that medieval Jewish texts are not limited to rabbinic writings but also included fairy tales—with a uniquely Jewish twist. Check these out in the sneak peek that SHI fellow Avital Davidovich presents in her book review
  • From relaxing river jaunt to religious ritual, the unlikely entry of Tashlich into Jewish practice turns out to be much more about enjoyment than about sin. Dr. Eli Freiman reveals the surprising origins of the ritual of Tashlich in “Tashlich: A Leisure Pastime that Became a Mitzvah

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 First session in a series on the ‘The “Jewishness” of Israel’

On Thursday, October 28, the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI), in partnership with the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) “Harel” brigade  and the Givat Hatachmoshet organization (Ammunition Hill Museum) will hold a special event  in honor of author Dr. Nachum Baruchi. The event, “Jerusalem–War and Peace,” will feature lectures and discussion by prominent guest speakers. Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs will address the subject of the strategic status of Jerusalem. Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, president of SHI, will speak about the “The Vision of Jerusalem in Judaism,” focusing on the critical issues that make Jerusalem one of the most controversial cities in the world.  

The event will honor the publication of a new book by Six Day War veteran Dr. Baruchi, entitled, “The Harel Division in the Six Day War,” which recounts Dr. Baruchi’s experiences as a commander in the Harel Brigade, and the battles the unit faced on the way to uniting Jerusalem during the 1967 war.

On the site of one of the most crucial battles that ultimately allowed the IDF to gain access to the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, “Jerusalem: War and Peace” will seek to break through the rhetoric of political slogans and religious divisions that have come to cloud debates about Jerusalem. The goal of the discussion is to explore core ideas and concepts regarding the role of Jerusalem within Judaism, in the hope that such an exploration can lead to new approaches, possibilities, and solutions, and ultimately, to peace.

Facilitating this SHI-sponsored event is Colonel (reserved) Ya’akov Castel, director of the Shalom Hartman Institute Lev Aharon program, which provides  seminars for senior IDF officers. Over 1,000 senior officers a year participate in this unprecedented leadership training experience, exploring intersections of Jewish and Israeli identity, Zionism, religious pluralism, and the complex interplay between Judaism, democracy, and morality in Israeli society. For additional information on the Lev Aharon program see: http://www.hartman.org.il/Center_Edu/Program_View.asp?Program_Id=19

 

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On October 6, the Shalom Hartman Institute, in partnership with Keren Karev, will launch the new Be’eri School for Teacher Education. The School will offer a basic and advanced track for teachers, as well as a track customized for school principals.

The basic teachers training track provides junior and high school teachers with the tools required to become instructors in Jewish heritage—Tarbut Yisrael. The advanced track is targeted at accredited teachers in the field of Jewish heritage who wish to broaden their expertise in this field and potentially become Tarbut Yisrael coordinators in their schools.

The principal track will equip participants with advanced Tarbut Yisrael training, enabling participants to play a leading role in strengthening pluralistic Jewish values and identity among their students. In response to requests from graduates of the principal track, a special program, led by a SHI faculty researcher, has been created. Graduates will meet six times a year to enhance their knowledge through a Beit Midrash learning format.

Eighty-five educators have registered for the 2010-11 school year. Be’eri schools proactively encouraged their staff to obtain the School’s enriched education, integral to the program mission. 70% of the participating educators hail from institutions that are part of the Be’eri program. The remaining participants will support the outreach of the Be’eri program to new schools.

“We are very excited to be opening the Be’eri School for Teacher Education, tasked to develop educators with an enhanced knowledge of Tarbut Yisrael disciplines,” says Rani Jaeger, Director of the School and a researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute. “Principals and teachers are key to introducing young Israelis to pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity education.  Our school will provide educators with the pedagogical training needed to inspire and lead a new pluralistic Jewish-Israeli discourse in our society.”

So what is so special about Be’eri? Read more about the program and its impact on Israeli schools here.

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The Shalom  Hartman Institute is pleased to congratulate the Institute’s SHI-North America Board Chair Angelica Berrie upon her receipt of the 2010 NADAV Foundation Peoplehood Award for her monumental contributions to Zionism and the Jewish people.

Ms. Berrie is President of the Russell Berrie Foundation, which makes transformational gifts to seed innovative philanthropic ventures that express her entrepreneurial spirit and that of her late husband Russell Berrie.  The Foundation focuses on the areas of: diabetes care and research; Jewish innovation and the strengthening of Israel; inter-religious understanding; professional salesmanship; humanism in medicine; community arts and culture in New Jersey and fighting terrorism.

The prize is being awarded to Ms. Berrie by the NADAV Foundation for promoting new and diverse voices in Jewish tradition and fostering dialogue between Jews of different backgrounds through philanthropic activity. “Angelica’s love and commitment to the Jewish people and Zionism are illustrated in her deep involvement in the Israeli and North American communities, explains Irina Nevzlin Kogan, President of the NADAV Foundation”.

Ms. Berrie will receive the prize at an award ceremony which will take place on September 26, 2010 at the Beit Hatefutsot Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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