A Democratic Religious Model

 

Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah hopes to fashion a society in which all Jewish Israelis live according to the religious lifestyle that speaks to them. By democratizing the Chief Rabbinate and the rabbinical system, we can give different communities the opportunity to shape their religious guidelines and services in a way that is much closer to their beliefs.

In order to make this possible, Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah proposes a new democratic process for selecting rabbis of neighborhoods and localities. This proposal takes into account that Israel’s character is closely tied to the Jewish identity of its citizens, and that they must all be properly represented.

Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah thus proposes the following model:

  • Citizens will vote for rabbis for their community or neighborhood, for a predetermined term, selecting from a list of ordained rabbis.
  • Neighborhood rabbis will serve on a municipal committee tasked with providing religious services to constituents.
  • Elected rabbis will select the members of the rabbinical council and the Chief Rabbi.
  • The office of municipal Chief Rabbi will be done away with.
  • In order to avoid pitfalls associated with political elections, strict guidelines will ensure that there is no involvement of political parties and that large sums of money are not used.

Through employing democratic means, Israeli Jewish communities will have their own rabbis, effecting a change in the religious discourse and religious services given in Israel. Israel will finally have a representative system in which all communities have rabbis who speak to them and for them.