Building Jewish Settlements
The Meeting Place amuta (non-profit organization) sees its goal in bringing together the secular and religious Jews of Israel on the basis of strong ties with their Land and their people, as well as in studying their cultural heritage. To attain the goal, we think it is critical to apply pluralistic approach and tolerance towards the views of different population groups.
There are several lines of activities in which the Meeting Place is engaged:
1. Setting up Russian-speaking educational centers in different cities in Israel.
Purpose: for secular and religious Jews, to meet and study together. At present, such groups are functioning, on a regular basis, in Jerusalem, Haifa (on the premises of the Magen educational centre), Rehovot and Tel Aviv. So far, the subject matters were Talmud and the Jerusalem Temple history.
Results: last year’s experience demonstrated the paramount importance of the joint studies of secular and religious Jews. The studies paved the way for communication and exchange of views. The students are now much more tolerant of each others’ views. Last year study groups not only expressed a desire to continue their courses but also brought their friends and acquaintances to the class.
Plans for the future: In the immediate future we are planning to open such centers in Modiim and Beer Sheva. Henceforth, along with the expansion of the geographical presence, the emphasis will be placed on strengthening the existing groups and on widening the subject-matter coverage.
Sponsor the classes.
Purpose: reviewing the work of our educational centers in different cities, drawing-up plans for the future, strengthening relations between activists, and encouraging cultural awareness between different communities.
Our organization has conducted two annual workshops. The workshops included lectures on Jewish topical subjects, excursions and discussions on projects.
2. The Excursion Project
Purpose: to familiarize Russian-speaking Israelis with the Jewish Land. We want our countrymen to return to the roots of the Jewish history and to realize their affiliation with Our Land and the continuity of its past and present.
Results: as of today, our project is the only one in Israel placing emphasis on the Jewish history and on the part played by every Tribe of Israel in the development of our State. We also take people to see Jewish settlements and show them the developed network of farms, enterprises and educational institutions located there. When meeting with the inhabitants of Jewish settlements, people can observe the everyday life of settlers and their achievements.
About six thousand persons of the new Aliyah took part in our excursions during last year. We have received a lot of favorable comments and responses. Our project is considered to be the only one of its kind in Israel. It has been mentioned by mass media more than once. Both secular sightseers from big cities and residents of religious settlements are offered a possibility to get to know each other better.
Jewish houses in a Muslim neighborhood
The Jerusalem city district of Neve Yaakov and the Arab village of Beit Hanina
Plans for the future: as was the previous practice, we are planning to organize excursions from all big cities: Haifa, Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv, Rehovot, Lod, Petah Tikva, Nesher, etc. Today it is possible to have up to 20 excursions per month, on the average. The logistics system is based on a nationwide network of coordinators and professional guides.
Ascension of the Temple Mount is part of our excursion project and we consider it to be one of the most important lines of our activities. With our assistance, over the past three years, dozens of groups of 5 to 15 people each ascended the Temple Mount. During the 2008 Sukkot, there was a mass ascension of about 700 people to the Mount, 300 of which were there thanks to the Meeting Place amuta. CARRYING ON THE LIFE CAUSE OF ITZHAK AND NATASHA
It is necessary to point out that each ascension is carried out in conformity with the Halakha and all the participants of the events are instructed accordingly.
To further the project, we would like to organize a kind of a Mobile Service Club that would disseminate knowledge about the Temple Mount. The idea is as follows: at any place where there is a group of, at least, five people wishing to take part in the study, we will deliver a concise course consisting of three events. The first one will be a lecture (held at the people’s residence location) telling about the Temple and its history, and about the laws concerning the ascension of the Mount. The second one will be an excursion familiarizing people with various models of the Temple. And the final one will be the ascension of the Temple Mount proper.
4. Discussion center
Purpose: to form a new Israeli consiousness in the process of open discussions.
How you can help us