'One of the greatest threats to the Jewish people is the disunity between Israel and the diaspora'

Koret Center for Jewish Civilization, based at Tel Aviv University, will build greater understanding between Israeli Jews and American Jews

Tamar and Anita interview


Thursday, June 9, 17:00 Israel time

In a one-on-one interview with Tamar Uriel-Beeri, Managing Editor of jpost.com, Dr. Anita Friedman, president of the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation, reports that a sense of disunity and disengagement imperils the worldwide Jewish community. The solution, she suggests, lies in creating a platform for dialogue and speaking to each other.

To that end, the Koret Foundation, based in San Francisco, has announced a $10 million grant to establish the Koret Center for Jewish Civilization in conjunction with Tel Aviv University and ANU, the Museum of the Jewish People. The Center will employ an educational and multi-disciplinary approach to the challenges of contemporary Jewish thought, social engagement and identity and build dialogue and understanding between Jewish Israelis and those in the Diaspora through an innovative approach to teaching about Judaism as an international community.

 “The idea,” says Friedman, “is to try to stitch us all together in a new way, to bring together one of the largest Jewish philanthropies in the world – which is the Koret Foundation – and one of the flagship Jewish institutions of the state of Israel – Tel Aviv University – along with the Government of Israel, and many other organizations in one common cause. Most people agree that this is a real challenge that needs to be taken seriously.”

Ultimately, says Friedman, the Koret Center for Jewish Civilization will create a dialogue where different groups can develop personal relationships and understand one another. “Our hope,” she says optimistically, “is that it will change the course of Jewish history.”