Greenbook, Vol. 2; Hitchadshut Yehudit, Jewish Renewal in Israel

Greenbook: Jewish Renewal in Israel

Greenbooks are topical research reports for funders, published by Jewish Funders Network. Each volume highlights a challenge facing the Jewish community, maps out the history and background, and details a wide range of approaches to solving the problem.

Hitchadshut Yehudit (Jewish Renewal) refers to programs that offer Jewish Israelis opportunities for learning, cultural expression, identity exploration, spirituality and prayer, and social action. All are explicitly based on Jewish values, texts and traditions, and infused with pluralism and autonomy.  

This Greenbook highlights the multi-faceted nature of Hitchadshut Yehudit,  which is:

  • Israeli — Hitchadshut Yehudit reflects the evolution of Jewish Israeli identities in the context of contemporary Zionism and Jewish sovereignty.
  • Young — Amid a well-established field of activists, organizations and programs, most organizations are in 'start-up' mode, still in search of financial security and broad public awareness.
  • Diverse — It is an amalgam of hundreds of programs and organizations with diverse political and ideological commitments. It touches Israelis in schools, the army, on the Internet and through the media.
  • Complex — Striving to understand Hitchadshut Yehudit raises a host of contentious but significant questions: What should Jewish life and identity look like in the Jewish State? In what ways should the government promote and support pluralistic Jewish expression? How can Hitchadshut Yehudit foster dialogue between Israeli and Diaspora Jews?

Rather than providing answers, this Greenbook aims to present varied opinions on these questions and stimulate conversation. It aims to give funders, both those new to the field and those with experience, the tools they need to understand Hitchadshut Yehudit and make effective grant making decisions.

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