Areivim Zeh LaZeh
Developing Israeli Orthodox Communal Leadership
and Culture Dedicated to the Jewish People
and the State of Israel.
The synagogue has for milenia served as the focal point of both the religious and communal life of the Jew. In addition to serving as a house of prayer, the synagogue had provided venues for Torah study, informal education, and even socializing. It is a unique institution in that it serves the family, providing for the needs of several generations simultaneously. History has clearly shown that the synagogue has played a significant role in shaping the Jewish identity and values of not only the individual Jew, but also of the Jewish family and the Jewish community.
Areivim Zeh LaZeh is involved in restructuring of the Israeli Modern Orthodox Synagogue with regard to its communal function and the development of young synagogue and communal leadership dedicated to these values. An important objective has been to help establish social action and outreach in synagogues as an important value in Israeli orthodox society, including creating a comfortable environment for the spiritual and social absorption of new immigrants.
Areivim Zeh LaZeh addresses a number of needs in the Modern Orthodox communities of Israel and the Diaspora. In recent years, connection to the State of Israel has waned in Diaspora communities in general, affecting the Orthodox community as well. In addition, Orthodox communities in both Israel and the Diaspora have become increasingly insular, creating a larger gap between Orthodox and non-Orthodox societies. Of late, in particular, the Orthodox Zionist community has focused on nationalistic issues at the expense of its other traditional focal points - bridging between the religious and non-religious communities, education, and social action. Put in other terms, in numerous modern Orthodox circles, the value of Eretz Yisrael has surpassed the values of Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael. Areivim Zeh LaZeh is designed to strengthen commitment to the State of Israel and the Jewish people within the Orthodox communities of Israel and the Diaspora.
Goals and Objectives
- To provide a synagogue environment that adheres to the comfort level of youth and young adults.
- To restructure Israeli synagogues to serve as communal centers that, in addition to being centers of worship, provide educational and social activities.
- To foster a comfortable environment in Orthodox synagogues for the spiritual and social absorption of new immigrants.
- To help shape the next generation of Orthodox Jewry characterized by commitment to the State of Israel, Jewish peoplehood, social action, and openness.
- To develop adult and youth leadership for Orthodox synagogues and communities in the Diaspora and in Israel dedicated to the State of Israel, the Jewish people, social action, and outreach.
- To foster cooperative relationships between Orthodox synagogues and communities in Israel and their counterparts in the Diaspora.
- To establish commitment to the State of Israel and to Jewish peoplehood as priority core values in the Orthodox communities of Israel and the Diaspora.
- To foster the implementation of cooperative synagogue and community programming between Israeli and Diaspora synagogues and communities that promotes commitment to the State of Israel, commitment to the Jewish people, social action, and outreach.
Description of Activities
- Youth leadership training seminars for select synagogue and communal youth leaders to be conducted in Israel. Some seminars will be conducted within the context of exchange visits, and some will be conducted only for local participants.
- Synagogue and community "adoption" programs to be developed and coordinated in conjunction with Diaspora and Israeli synagogues and communities. Synagogues and/or communities, from the Diaspora and in Israel, will be involved in this joint project.
- Exchanges visits of Rabbinic and community leadership groups between adopted synagogues and communities.
- Development of programs for synagogues and communities that promotes commitment to the State of Israel, commitment to Klal Yisrael, social action, and outreach.
- Development of cooperative social action programs between adopted synagogues and communities.
- Development and administration of an internet site as a vehicle to disseminate information and to foster communication between synagogues and communities.
- Publication of a magazine to disseminate and share information.
- Development of Community Study Center programs in the Community.
- Joint programs with Community Centers.
Areivim Zeh LaZeh is a joint effort of the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel and the Union of Synagogues in Israel (www.unisyn.org.il), and is supported in part by the Jewish Agency for Israel.