Menachem Mendel

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Archive for Israel-Diaspora Relations

How Many Reform and Conservative Jews in israel

Tomer Persico brings (Hebrew) some interesting numbers from a recent poll by the Knesset TV Channel. People were asked “Do you feel attached to one of the denominations in Judaism? If so, which one?” The answers may surprise some people: Reform 6%; Conservative 6%; Orthodox 35%; no denomination 45%. A previous poll from 2009 put […]

Israel Education Circa 1930

I stumbled across this interesting article about Israel,then Palestine, Education from 1930. Many of the issues and arguments seem to be the same today. Sanity in the Teaching of Palestine

The Renaissance of Pluralistic Judaism in Israel

Regev Ben-David has a very good post on the Tikvah Fund web site about pluralistic Judaism in Israel. (HT to Yair Rosenberg on Twitter) One of the most important things for American Jews to take away from this post is that Israeli Judaism is not and will not be the same as American Judaism.

Rabbi David Hartman z”l

Rabbi David Hartman z”l, the founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem has passed away in Jerusalem. The influence of Rabbi Hartman on Judaism in both America and Israel has been vast. Whether it was through his scholarship, the institutions that he founded, his students, or he as an individual, Rabbi Hartman’s influence can […]

Israel-Diaspora Relations for the 21st Century

Makor Rishon is reporting that the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has decided to sponsor a conference intended to help nurture the next generation of Diaspora leadership. The author of the article Ariel Kahana, writes that there was some opposition among certain government ministries, since the goals of the conference are a strengthening of Diaspora communities […]

Ed Koch’s Jewishness and His First Trip to Israel

In a tweet Jeffrey Goldberg called Ed Koch “An utterly unique New Yorker, a charismatic leader, and an upstanding Jew.” Jonathan Soffer’s book Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City contains some interesting details about Koch’s relationship to Judaism and Israel. The first source is about some of Koch’s experiences in Congress as […]

Chief Rabbi Herzog’s Opposition to a Reform Synagogue in Jerusalem

The Israel State Archives has posted online some items from the archives of Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog. One of the items is an exchange of letters from 1956 between Chief Rabbis Herzog and Yitzhak Nissim and Prime Minister Moshe Sharett in which the Chief Rabbis expressed their opposition to the building of the Hebrew […]

A Jewish Nobel Prize for Which Jews

The Israel Prime Minister’s Office released the following press release: (hat tip) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Mikhail Fridman announced the Genesis Prize, the “Jewish Nobel Prize” – an international prize which will be awarded to Jews who win global recognition due to their achievements in […]

Shavuot 5772

Saturday night the theme of the Tikkun Leil Shavuot at our synagogue is Israel-Diaspora Relations. I am teaching a session on “Israel-Diaspora Relations in the Responsa Literature.” Below is the source sheet that I will be distributing. The first responsum addresses prioritizing charity. The second, the liturgical connection between Israel and the Diaspora. The third, […]

Birthright has been infiltrated

This morning Galei Tzahal, Israel Army Radio, broadcast a segment that described how some non-Jews have managed to participate, or “infiltrate” as the original report described, on Birthright trips to Israel. These weren’t people who may not be halakhically Jewish but have a Jewish identity or affiliation, rather, 100% Gentile. The segment criticized how Birthright […]

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