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.