Two Worlds: The Intersection Between Religious and Secular in Israel

Primary tabs

Program Date(s): 
1:00 PM Monday Dec 30, 2013 to 4:30 AM Tuesday Dec 31, 2013
Leaders & Speakers: 
Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu,
Rabbi Boaz Genut,
Rabbi David Stav,
Rabbi Dr. Dov Maimon,
Rabbi Ofir and Rabbanit Kineret Krispil,
Rabbi Shimon Har-Sholom,
Shmuel Jeselsohn

Deadline to Register is Thursday December 26. 

Tzohar and Torah in Motion invite you to a day of examining the politics of religion in Israel. The intersection of religion and secular life play a role in every major debate in the public arena in the State of Israel. From conversion, to marriage, to the very nature of the State, the struggle for the soul of Israel hinges on this fundamental issue.

During this exciting day, you will learn in detail about some of the challenges these issues present, and some of the ways Israelis are working to address them. You’ll visit institutions dedicated to promoting Jewish study and growth in new ways, and meet a number of people working at the intersection of an Israeli public searching for authentic Judaism that speaks to their needs today.  

To see the flyer, click here.

We look forward to traveling with you on this exciting mini-mission in Israel.

The price for this trip is $100 per person.


Tentative Program Schedule 

9:00 am: Arrival and Registration, light refreshments – Beit Harav, Jerusalem  Harav Kook St. (seconds away from Kikar Zion and Ben Yehuda) 

Introduction of the program.

9:30 am: Lecture: Jewish Demographics in Israel, Rabbi Dr. Dov Maimon

What is the demographic reality on the ground in Israel? How many Israelis (non-Arabs) are in fact Jewish? What are the demographic challenges that the State will face in the coming decades?

10:30 am: Challenges in Government Conversions, Mr. Shmuel Jeselsohn

The State of Israel handles over two thousand conversions each year. What process must each convert undergo? What are the requirements that converts must meet, and how does the State oversee what is, at its heart, a personal and individual process on such a massive scale? Shmuel Jeselsohn is the Director of the Conversion Division in the Office of the Prime Minister.

11:30 am: Depart Jerusalem for Nazareth

1:00 pm: Lunch in Nazareth


Tentative Program Schedule, Continued:

2:00 pm: Proving Jewish Identity: Rav Shimon Har Shalom

Each year, thousands of fully halachic Jews must present documentation to the State proving their Jewish status, yet many lack the necessary documentation. You’ll meet with Rav Shimon Har Shalom, Executive Director of Mercaz Shorashim, which, through its offices in the former Soviet Union, helps locates the documents and other proof sufficient to establish their Jewish status. You’ll also meet with a local director of a conversion class, who will describe the process of conversion in Israel in greater detail.

3:00 pm: Jewish Life in a Mixed City in Israel

What is Jewish life like in a mixed city in the Jewish State of Israel? Meet with Rav Ofir and Rabbanit Kineret Krispil, who will share some of their experiences in this very unique Jewish community.

4:30 pm: Travel to Migdal Ha’emek

5:00 pm: Preparing for Giyyur: Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu

How do potential converts for their conversions? Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu works with AMI – an organization that prepares converts and coordinates classes to help them study towards conversion.  You’ll speak to students and instructors in this critical program. (

6:30 pm: Dinner with Rabbi David Stav, Co-Chairman of Irgun Rabbanei Tzohar and Rabbi of Shoham

Shiur: Rabbi Boaz Genut: Understanding the Conflict: Why Some Secular Israelis Don’t Want Religious Marriages

Rabbi Boaz Genut is the Director of the Department of Marriage and Community Affairs in Tzohar.

Celebrate a Wedding in Israel

Rabbanei Tzohar conduct thousands of weddings across the State of Israel each year. We’ll celebrate with a couple at their chuppah, in order to get a sense of how each of these weddings is making a difference in changing the face of Israel.

Conclusion and Farewell

Return to Jerusalem