Conference on Religious Zionism
Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah hopes to hold a conference on the state of Religious Zionist Judaism in Israel in the near future. Such a conference would bring together the great minds in the movement to debate the movement’s fundamentals, philosophy, and future.
Roughly one decade ago, a seminal conference was held at Kibbutz Lavi. With support from Edah, and with the participation of Beit Morasha, Kolech, the Religious Kibbutz Movement, the Yaacov Herzog Center, and others, the conference took a decisive step toward reshaping the character of Religious Zionism. Ultimately, the conference speakers and participants agreed that Religious Zionism must be prepared to examine difficult questions and propose solutions.
Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah confronts myriad contemporary issues and is continuously at the forefront of the struggles involved in the Religious Zionist community’s self-definition. As such, it is clear to us that the progress made at Kibbutz Lavi has waned over recent years, as no further such conferences have been held.
For that reason, we plan to hold a “Conference for Religious Zionism,” a two-day event hosting 3,000 members of the community from around Israel. We hope to broach such crucial questions as the quality of services provided by the religious establishment in Israel, the status of women, religious education in the twenty-first century, religious and political extremism, involvement in social action, and the central goals of Religious Zionism in the coming years.
The conference will include prominent leaders, social activists, rabbis, and educators who can address the social, educational, and halachic issues that arise from contemporary life in Israel and the Diaspora.
The conference is being planned as a regular event to be held every two years in Jerusalem with participating lecturers and guests from Israel and abroad. It is hoped that the conference will constitute a meeting point for the many Orthodox organizations working within the community and will generate new partnerships among them. All Orthodox organizations working for social change will be invited.
At present, Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah holds a smaller conference with 300 participants once a year and seminars and conferences on a bi-monthly basis.
While part of the proposed conference will be covered by participants’ fees, we are still seeking like-minded donors who can join in the endeavor. At this point, we still need $100,000 to make this dream a reality.