|NIF Initiates and Supports 40 Shavuot Tikkun Events|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
In a new program emphasizing our commitment to religious pluralism, NIF has initiated Shavuot Eve Torah study sessions throughout Israel, to be held next Tuesday, June 7. Thousands of Israelis in 35 faith communities – Conservative, Orthodox, secular and Reform – will participate, representing Israel’s political, ideological and geographical spectrum. In addition to providing grants to participating communities, NIF is also providing materials linking Jewish tradition to social justice, tolerance and pluralism.
Drawing on the Hasidic tradition in Europe, Shavuot events have become particularly popular among Israelis over the past decade amid a revitalization of Jewish traditions and heritage. Israelis stay up all night attending Shavuot events that range from traditional lectures and communal study to music, dance and cultural happenings. The New Israel Fund received more than 100 applications for program assistance, many from groups not previously linked to NIF, and 35 applicants were carefully selected for support.
The most prominent NIF-supported event next Tuesday evening will be at the Tel Aviv Museum, where the ALMA Home for Hebrew Culture expects over 3,000 guests with VIPs including MK Tsipi Livni and NIF President Professor Naomi Chazan. The event will be broadcast live on Israel's Channel One TV.
In other events, NIF grantee Kehillat Aish David, an immigrant congregation in Ashdod, will hold a discussion about accepting the "other" in Jewish texts and in modern times. Kibbutz Ketura, a conservative community thirty miles north of Eilat, will host a seminar with a focus on the environment.
Click here for NIF Israel's mini-site on the Shavuot events including a map with locations where events are taking place and special materials prepared in English.
In order to make the events more focused and meaningful, NIF is providing the participating communities with interpretations of Torah portions for the week. The study materials, which are also available in English, have been written by: Hannah Kahat, founder of NIF grantee Kolech Religious Women's Forum – an Orthodox feminist organization; Knesset Speaker and NIF Board Member Avrum Burg; renowned Israeli poet Haim Guri; and leaders of Israel's Reform and Conservative Movements.