The Synagogue on the Beach
August 09, 2006Yesterday I reached a wonderful agreement to cooperate with the Rabbis of Tsahar - as you know we are running a bet midrash and a synagogue in the encampment of refugees (from the North) in Nitzanim. The encampment is housing about 8,000 people from the North and was established by the Russian millionaire, Arcady Guidamek. We are running a bet midrash and synagogue there. The last 2 Shabbatot we sent 60 men and women to be with them and arranged a large kabbalat Shabbat, shiurim, Torani activities for children and more.
Yesterday, Tuesday, we brought in a permanent staff of tens of people to run the place all week. Rabbi Meir Arviv, a graduate of our first shlichim course, is supervising the place for us on a voluntary basis.
The rabbis of Tzahar promised to send two rabbis and two rebbetzins to give sichot. This is very important cooperation that will bear fruits in the future.
In the North and in hotels throughout the country, we have volunteers working tirelessly, youth and adults (chiefly psychologists, social workers, etc.).
View photos of OU volunteers in Nitzanim
Meir Schwartz is the Director of Kehilot Yisrael, the OU`s outreach program for adults.
*Tzohar was established in the wake of the deep crisis in Israeli society caused by the murder of Yitzhak Rabin. This crisis focused a great deal of anger on religious Zionism, and especially on its rabbis. Hundreds of rabbis and educators are active in Tzohar. They see as a mission what they have been doing for the non-religious segments of society. The organization’s activities are based on identification with and loyalty to the State of Israel, while maintaining Jewish Tradition, Halacha, as it has been maintained throughout Jewish history. The organization’s full name is “Tzohar – A Window Between Two Worlds,” a name which speaks for its intention: of opening a channel of communications between two communities in conflict. It aspires to carry light and messages to both sides. For the first time, a religious organization is not talking about two wagons, one fully laden, and one empty of content, but of a window which allows for the shining of light in both directions. Tzohar set itself the goal of returning the figure of the rabbi to the center of Israeli discourse, and making the rabbi the one to whom anyone can turn; bringing him out of the Beit Midrash and making him available to the mainstream of Israeli society. For more info: http://www.tzohar.org.il/eng.asp