We believe that Israeli communities can be better–-stronger, more caring, more interconnected.
In order for Israeli Jews to feel connected to their country and each other, they need to share a common culture. That can only happen when there's spiritual leadership to make it happen.
The Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics aims to improve the fabric of Israeli society by intensively training Israeli rabbis in all aspects of communal rabbinics so that they can lead their communities to a more meaningful connection with Judaism and act as a unifying force in Israeli society.
It's Time for a Change
Rabbi David Fine and Rabbi Shlomo Sobol have identified a deep need in Israeli society and taken the initiative in establishing the Barkai Center for rabbinic training. The Center will train ordained Religious Zionist rabbis to become communal professionals with the skills to build and lead communities across Israel, and make the riches of Judaism accessible to all.
Because one man can make the difference
The Barkai Center aims to improve the fabric of Israeli society by intensively training Israeli rabbis in all aspects of communal rabbinics so that they can lead their communities to a more meaningful connection with Judaism and act as a unifying force in Israeli society.
The Barkai Center will develop rabbis with professional skills in family counseling, practical halakha, mediation, coaching, informal education, spiritual counseling and the like – to the benefit of all Jews living in Israel.
Who Needs It?
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis, religious and secular, are spiritually adrift. They have questions about their Judaism. They would love to be part of a warm community, to be inspired, to learn, and to make their life cycle events and holidays more meaningful. They are searching for a Jewish role model who can speak to them. In the absence of authentic Jewish leadership, the result is alienation from Judaism, ignorance of its cultural riches and a diminished sense of Jewish identity.
This is a national tragedy. In order for Israeli society to survive the challenges it faces internally and externally, it needs strong families and communities with a solid Jewish identity. Our heritage binds our people together. When we are alienated from our traditions and each other, our future is threatened.
In cities and towns across Israel, the missing, pivotal character who could serve as a locus for spiritual needs, charitable programs, outreach and more is the communal rabbi.
Jewry abroad has benefited in innumerable ways from communal rabbis who can turn a disparate group of people into a unified congregation, and with whom congregants can develop a warm, personal connection. In recent years, Israelis have come to see the value of communal rabbis. Communities are seeking out rabbis appropriate to them and Israeli rabbis, who didn’t grow up with the community-oriented approach of their counterparts abroad, are seeking the expertise they need to fill this crucial role.
Rabbi David Fine
Rabbi David Fine holds a BA with honors in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, an MA in Jewish History, and received rabbinic ordination from the Joseph Straus Rabbinical Seminary in Efrat, Israel.
Rabbi Fine served as a rabbi in Milwaukee, WI and in Overland Park, Kansas, and has been involved in overseeing communal Jewish services such as kosher certification, eruv maintenance and burial.
Rabbi Fine made aliyah in 2008. He is a staff member of Yeshivat Meir Harel, the Hesder Yeshiva of Modi’in, the Program Coordinator for Jewish Identity at the Modi’in Community Center and teaches adult education at Sha’arei Yonah Menachem Congregation in Modi’in.
Rabbi Fine is married to Dr. Julie (nee Goldstein), a psychologist, and together they have four children.
Rabbi Shlomo Sobol
Rabbi Shlomo Sobol is an eighth-generation Jerusalem native who studied in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav for ten years and served in the IDF’s Artillery Corps. He received his ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate in 1997 and has a Master’s Degree in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University.
Rabbi Sobol headed the Torah MiTzion Kollel in Detroit for four years and has served as Rabbinic Consultant for the Torah MiTzion network ever since. He is also a licensed marriage counselor, a certified mediator, and has headed the Sha’arei Yonah Menachem Congregation in Modi’in for seven years, where he is well known for his work in education and immigrant absorption.
Rabbi Sobol is married to Tali, a specialist in advanced Jewish education, and together they have four children.
Here are some basic questions and answer about Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics in Israel.