Rabbi Mordechai Bar-Or is the founder and director of Kolot, a study center aiming to educate an Israeli leadership that will advance Jewish values and create a meaningful Jewish mission for Israel. He founded Kolot in 1997, after the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. Rabbi Bar-Or serves as the government adviser for Jewish values and leads a new Jewish values initiative headed by President Shimon Peres.
Rabbi Bar-Or was brought up in Jerusalem in an observant family, attended Yeshivat Har Etzion, and fought in the First Lebanon War. He was ordained by Chief Rabbi Goren in 1984.
Rabbi Bar-Or headed the Jewish studies program at the Pelech High School for Girls in Jerusalem. Later, he served as director of “Gesher” seminars in Safed for three years, before co-founding Elul in 1989 and serving as its co-director until 1996. In 1997, Rabbi Bar-Or received the Avi Chai prize for his work in establishing and directing Elul, the very first pluralistic Beit Midrash in Israel.