Jewish heritage
putting on tefillin at the kotel

A Meaningful Rite of Passage Becoming a bar or bat mitzva is a rite of passage for all streams of Judaism in communities around the world. But ironically, in the Jewish state of Israel, many secular Jews do not have the resources needed to make the milestone event meaningful at their fingertips. The Yachad Program …

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Silver Linings: Building New Strategies in the Face of COVID OTS’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity offers Israeli Jews who identify as secular an opportunity to explore and reclaim their Jewish heritage through communal programming based in the local community centers.  But what happens when the community centers are closed because of COVID? As the …

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lego beit hamikdash

From Baseless Hatred to Baseless Love The Yachad Program for Jewish Identity operated meaningful Tisha B’Av programming throughout Israel designed to bring contemporary relevance to a seemingly archaic Jewish observance As Israel prepares for its second round of elections, it seems that hatred, stereotypes, and rifts among different segments of the population have never been …

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Kabbalat Shabbat 2019

Opening the Window to Spirituality Shabbat in Israeli society is often viewed as a day of conflict, not a day of rest. The perception amongst many secular Israelis is that the religious are unwilling to allow any public transport or the opening of any public places of entertainment, thereby forcing many people to stay at …

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“Go, gather together all the Jews…” (Megillat Esther, 7:16) – Celebrating Purim Together Though gourmet Hamantaschen make their appearance in the trendiest Israeli bakeries and everyone dresses up for the holiday, Purim for many Israelis has little meaning beyond face-painting or getting intoxicated. How can we connect Israelis with no interest in the synagogue to the …

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Tu Bshvat activity

Tu B’Shvat: Celebrating Shared Roots In this generation, the holiday of Tu B’Shvat may be more important than ever. Where Jews traditionally ate dried fruits of the Land of Israel to demonstrate our yearning to return, today we also eat ripe fruits, to illustrate the abundance and blessing apparent in our return to Zion. Together, …

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