This week, the final preparations were completed for the establishment of a joint venture promoting "Jewish renewal" between the Diaspora Affairs Ministry and the Panim organization, an umbrella organization dealing with the matter, that has "a deep familiarity with Jewish traditions and identities operating in Israel and around the world," according to a press release sent by the ministry. The joint venture's budget will be NIS 60 million.
"The new joint venture will allow organizations in Israel to connect to their unique Jewish tradition and culture," the release said, "This is a large and first-of-its-kind government investment, which will be managed under the Jewish Renewal Division, which was established this year in the ministry." The joint venture's budget will be NIS 60 million, half of which will be financed by the Diaspora Affairs Ministry and half by the Panim organization.
"The decision to establish the joint venture promoting and supporting Jewish renewal is a historic decision that means equality between the various traditions practiced by the Jewish people."Nachman Shai
The "Jewish Renewal Venture" will be responsible for organizing, expanding and developing the field of Jewish renewal in Israel and empowering it through projects and content for the general public . Initiatives that will be funded by the venture include: seminars, study tours, events, lectures and community cultural events. "The joint venture will promote training and activities in informal educational frameworks and will cooperate with local authorities, in accordance with the local populations of each municipal authority and with an emphasis on new audiences," sources in the ministry said. The total activities of the project are expected to reach about 700,000 participants.
"The decision to establish the joint venture promoting and supporting Jewish renewal is a historic decision that means equality between the various traditions practiced by the Jewish people," said Dr. Nachman Shai, Diaspora Affairs Minister. "We, as a government and as a state, now will give them (new liberal Jewish initiatives) an equal place, respect and recognition. In the 21st century, the Jewish people have struggled with complex issues, including conversion, kashrut and civil marriage. We must ensure the unity of the Jewish people as it is and at the same time, allow for internal discourse, discussion and thinking about the essence of Judaism and its character. This is the power of Judaism. "
Judaism "adapting to modern times"
Adv. Ziona Koenig Yair, Director General of the Ministry of Diaspora added that "Judaism is a dynamic and inclusive religion, which adapts itself to modern times." She added that "through the new venture and administration, we are interested in bringing all the Jews of Israel closer together, by creating a fruitful and inclusive discourse that allows for expression and a dignified place for each of the Jewish traditions living in Israel."
"The establishment of the joint venture promoting Jewish Renewal is a historic step of government recognition and budgeting for the Israeli Jewish renewal field," Yotam Brom, CEO of Panim said. "We are happy and excited to cooperate with the ministry. Judaism belongs to everyone and as such, deserves to be accessible and relevant to all parts of the population: religious, traditional or secular."