The inaugural conference of Beit Hillel’s Public Council took place on June 27th 2013 at the Wohl Center in Bar-Ilan University. It was a very successful and inspiring event with over 150 participants representing a broad spectrum of public and rabbinic leadership. The forum discussed ways to bring about social, religious and national change.
The highlight of the conference was the round-table discussions that addressed several major issues facing Israeli society and the Jewish people today such as:
- Status of Women in Judaism
- Problem of Agunot and Mesuravot Get in Israel
- Army and Halacha
- Conversion in Israel
- Religious – Secular relations
- Marriage in Israel
- Social justice
- Educational System in Israel
- Status of the Courts and Legal System
- Relationship to non-Jews in Israel
- and more…
Watch this very inspiring video and listen to the voices from this conference:
Conclusions from the round-table discussions were drawn up as recommendations as to how Beit Hillel should go forward in these areas and several were adopted by the leadership of Beit Hillel as operative guidelines for the organization.
MK and Minister Uri Orbach stated during a panel regarding ways to create a shared Jewish identity in Israeli society:
I ask you to continue the deep discussions that you are having. The discussions themselves are important but they need to make their way into public consciousness. I want you to be a force to be reckoned with and for moderation to also be a little extreme. Moderates are problematic in that they even fight with moderation. Beit Hillel needs to be very activist so that pressure from the moderate public is more apparent.
MK Elazar Stern remarked, “Help us to act in a world of Halacha that knows how to make decisions that are connected to Israeli society and understands that the window of opportunity is not getting any wider. Beit Hillel, help us to make the change!”
Perhaps MK Aliza Lavi summed it up best with her call to action:
We need you; you will teach us politicians how to do this right. We can’t do it on our own. I ask that you return Halachic courage to the world of Halacha.
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