Training a diverse group of visionary Israeli leaders to advance a vibrant, pluralistic, values-based Judaism
The Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis trains emerging leaders from all denominations and regions to guide Israeli Judaism and Israeli society to new, pluralistic directions. The program includes a three-year training course based on in-depth study and a public practicum and develops a strong alumni network. Ordained Israeli Rabbis bring individuals, families, communities, and institutions into deeper engagement with pluralistic Judaism and cultivate an appreciation for global Jewish peoplehood based on mutual respect.
Cohort II celebrated their rabbinical ordination, bringing the total number of ordained rabbis to 32
Lana Zilberman Soloway
Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis Cohort III
Learning from the Most Important Voices in Israel: As a very active member of the Reform Movement in Israel, the most natural thing was for me to be ordained as a rabbi at the movement’s Hebrew Union College, but at this stage of my life I chose to begin my rabbinic journey at the Hartman Institute. My rabba, Tamar Elad Appelbaum, is one of the program directors, and I think she is one of the most important voices in Israel today. I encountered other great rabbis here from whom it is a great privilege to learn. The conversations and studies deepen my spiritual world and I really feel that I have been waiting for some of these lessons for my entire life.
Uniting a Divided Society: The Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis drew me because it lives up to its name – a Beit Midrash where the people of Israel learn in all of its diversity. We have an impressive group of people coming from various walks of life: religious of all streams, secular, traditional, young and old, and also a variety of gender and ethnic identities. When I came here I chose not to study with those who think like me but with those who think differently. It is very challenging sometimes, but I love it. The Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis offers a real message for our divided society.
Our Israeli rabbis are leading communities and institutions of learning across Israel and are active in bringing new ideas, rituals, and expressions of Judaism directly to the Israeli public. This year the voices of the Israeli Rabbis were amplified in the public sphere:
Israeli Rabbis led roundtable discussions for hundreds of North American and Israeli leaders at the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual General Assembly on the concepts of home and homeland in the context of Israel-North American relations
Participants responded to a burning debate in Israeli society about construction regulations and the value of human life by creating a video, which has been viewed over 10,000 times, and accompanying source sheets to aid high school students in learning about our ethical responsibility for human rights and ensuring safety for all.
Participants engaged Israelis in conversation and study about the challenges facing Israeli society while hiking in search of common ground towards shaping a shared future as part of HaMidrasha at Oranim’s Israel Trail Encounters program.
The Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis is supported by the Aviv Foundation, Nancy Cahners, the Honey Foundation for Israel, Arlene & Robert P. Kogod. Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and other generous donors.