Pluralism & Tolerance Initiatives
NIFC and NIF believe that a tolerant Israel will be a more socially cohesive Israel – within Israel itself, in its connection to Jews in the Diaspora, and in its relationships with the world at large. We work for an Israel with all members free to conduct their religious, spiritual and cultural lives according to their own conscience; an Israel where Jewish and Arab citizens live together with dignity.The following are some recent projects of NIFC's with a focus on relious pluralism.
BINA is a way for young secular Israelis to explore their Jewish roots in a pluralistic environemnt that stresses humanist aspect of Judaism and strengthens Israel as a democratic, tolerant society. NIFC works with the BINA secular yeshiva, the only non-Orthodox institute of its kind in Israel today. Pre or post-army young adults study Jewish texts and Jewish culture intensively from sources ranging from the Bible and Talmud to classic Israeli literature and Zionist history.
In 2012, BINA provided educational activities for young adults participating in three volunteer programs targeting young adults at different stages in their lives. The first two cohorts volunteer in impoverished in South Tel-Aviv neighbourhoods and will include both pre-Army and currently enlisted individuals. A third cohort will be setup for post-army young people who have completed their army service and are pondering the next steps in their lives.
Hiddush was founded to fulfill the Israeli Declaration of Independence's promises of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and equal rights for all. The organization aims to educate and inform the Israeli public and is committed to the principles of religious freedom and equality as basic ingredients of a healthy democracy.
In 2012 it is conducting with NIFC its annual survery which result in the Religion and State Index. This tool examines and analyzes public opinion about the status of Religion and State in Israel. The Index has garnered much respect from the Israeli population and provides comprehensive information to the general public, the media and decision makers. It surveys opinions on topics such as religious freedom in Israel, separation of religion and State, satisfaction with the government’s involvement in religious affairs such as marriage and conversion, and civic responsibilities.
Tikkun Leil Shavuot
The Jewish holiday Shavuot marks the traditional anniversary of the day the Torah was given to the Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai. Late night or all-night study of Jewish texts is a longstanding tradition. The all-night study sessions are called "tikunim," which refers to the process of "repairing the world". In Israel, synagogues, community centers, prayer communities and educational institutions offer tikunim on a variety of topics.
This year the New Israel Fund of Canada, through our agent, New Israel Fund (NIF), carried out several events relating to the Shavuot holiday. These events educated a wide spectrum of communities about pluralism, tolerance and social justice and will inform the connection between Judaism and democratic values. NIFC worked with a number of organizations including Elul, Eshel Avraham, Kehilat Kiryat Shalom, Yeshivat Talpiyot, Rauch Chadasah, Beit Tefilya Yisraeli and more.