In one of the first cross-denominational prayer endeavors of its kind, Conservative, Reform and independent congregations will join together Friday evening on the Tel Aviv beachfront to commemorate the splitting of the Red Sea and to pray for the speedy release of captive soldiers Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Schalit. Beit Daniel (Reform), Beit Tefila Israelit (independent), Tiferet Shalom (Conservative) and Havurat Tel Aviv (Conservative) will put aside liturgical differences to join in prayer on the night that, according to Jewish tradition, God split the Red Sea and brought the Jewish people out of Egypt. "Some of the people were a little bit concerned at first about the differences in prayer rituals," said Rabbi David Lazar of Tiferet Shalom. "But we immediately agreed. I hope this will be the beginning of more significant cooperation among the different denominations and streams of Judaism," added Lazar. The prayer group will meet at Chinky Beach in the southern part of Tel Aviv's coast. Rabbi Meir Azari of Beit Daniel said that he did see the upcoming event as a sign of more cooperation among the various streams of Judaism. "Rather, this is an attempt to break the routine and get out of the synagogues and out to the beach." Azari said that he saw much more of a potential for cooperation with the independent or secular congregations such as Beit Tefila Israelit than with the Conservative movement, due to the differences in theology and practice. "Maintaining the special character of each stream of Judaism is important." Estaban Gottfried of Beit Tefila Israeli said that he did not identify a trend toward unification of the various streams. "Ideally, I think it would be great of the various liberal streams worked together more," said Gottfried. "We are already so small and we have so much in common that it does not make much sense to be so segregated." Gottfried, who said that between 70 and 120 pray at Beit Tefila Israelit in central Tel Aviv every Friday night, expected many beachgoers to join the prayers this Friday. "Last summer we arranged Friday night prayers at the Tel Aviv Port that drew hundreds of people, many of whom were passersby. I expect the same thing to happen this Friday night." Beit Tefila Israeli is part of a larger trend know as Jewish Renewal (hitchadshut yehudit) in which totally secular Israelis are discovering the importance of Jewish ritual and culture. A recent study by Na'ama Azulay, who is writing her doctorate on the movement at Bar-Ilan University, estimates that there are about 30 secular synagogues like Beit Tefila around the country in which regular prayers are held.