The Blickle Institute for Interfaith Dialogue officially launched in October 2020 with a mission of developing new paradigms for Judaism’s relationship towards non-Jews. As the first Orthodox Jewish institution to adopt a systemic approach to interfaith understanding and relations, the Blickle Institute will teach Judaism’s approach toward other religions and toward people who practice other faiths, both in relation to the non-Jewish minorities living in the Jewish State as well as in regard to interfaith relations at the global level.
With the return of the Jewish people to Zion and the establishment of the State of Israel, relations between the Jewish people and the nations of the world have become a crucial issue of our time. As a sovereign entity living in our own land, it is incumbent upon us to define in accordance to Jewish law the status of other religions, to codify our relations to non-Jewish minorities in Israel and to enumerate our spiritual and material responsibilities toward the “other” in our midst. This issue is urgent, for much of the internal strife between the various segments of the Jewish people is ultimately caused by conflicting approaches toward various dimensions of this very issue.
Eight fellows of the Blickle Institute, men and women, leading educational and rabbinic figures from the entire spectrum of the Jewish religious community, have partnered in creating this new paradigm:
Rabbanit Devorah Evron – director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute of Halakhic Leadership.
Mrs. Michal Froman – recognized Israeli grassroots interfaith activist.
Rabbanit Yaffa Gisser – prominent Israeli Jewish educator specializing in Jewish thought.
Rabbi Nehemia Krakover, Principal of OTS’s Neveh Channah High School.
Rabbi Elchanan Nir – Cultural and Religious editor of the leading Israeli newspaper, Makor Rishon, prominent Israeli author and poet focusing on issues of spirituality.
Rabbanit Oriah Mevorach – senior faculty at two Ohr Torah Stone institutions: Midreshet Lindenbaum and Neveh Channah.
Rabbi Eyal Vered – rabbi of the “Yachdav” community in Petach Tikva, faculty member of the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar Ilan University, and author.
Rabbi Matanya Yedid grew up in Jerusalem and studied at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Judaism and education and is a doctoral student in education at the University of Córdoba in Spain. Rabbi Yedid founded the Bnei Akiva Alumni Movement and currently teaches at Bar Ilan University, Orot College and the Nishmat and Shachari Midrashot. He additionally serves as the head of the Mosaic Rabbis Program, is a partner in the religious initiative for peace and is completing his certification as a mediator.
Led by director Rabbi Dr. Nagen, these fellows meet monthly for round table meetings and lectures alongside the fellows of OTS’s Beit Midrash for Judaism and Humanity, with the joint aim of developing the halakhic and philosophic thinking on these essential issues into educational curricula.
In the first stage of the institute’s program, this curricula is being brought into the classrooms of the OTS network – yeshivot and midrashot, the women’s institute of halakhic leadership, rabbinical training seminary and emissary training programs.