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Rabbi Fine and Ronel Elkayam attended the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC. They joined thousands of representatives from Israeli organizations. At the Conference they were able to meet and interact with many people and we are confident that it will lead to greater things for the Barkai Center.

Our Sages instruct that 30 days prior to Passover one is to begin studying the applicable laws. In keeping with this dictum of the Sages- the Barkai Center, in conjunction with the World Union of Orthodox Synagogues and Communities, organized a pre Passover Workshop that brought together over 60 Barkai Rabbis with pulpit rabbis who have made Aliyah from the US and France. The attendees heard lectures about Passover Kashrut from Rabbi Moshe Katz from the Kosharot organization, Rabbi Zev Vitman, the Rabbi of Tnuva Dairy, Jerusalem Chief Sephardic Rabbi and Rishon LeTzion, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar and Jerusalem Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Aryeh Stern. A delicious meat dinner was served.

The Barkai Center rabbis from Cohort 4 recently completed an extended course in mediation and conflict resolution. The course was taught by the head of Mishkan Shalom, a non profit dedicated to conflict resolution, Rabbi Eran Margalit. During the summer an optional extension of this course will be offered to the rabbis so that they can attain certification as mediators.

In March the Barkai Center held a conference for synagogue board members and gabbaim of Barkai communities in conjunction with the World Union of Orthodox Synagogues and Communities. The conference was attended by over
200 people. The attendees enjoyed a lecture from Barkai rabbi Avraham Krispin that dealt with the relationship between the rabbi, gabbai and congregation. Additionally, organizational consultant Dani Blondheim gave the attendees tools to increase volunteerism in their congregations. In between the lectures the gabbaim were able to browse at the stands of Koren Publications and Shaag synagogue medical equipment.

barkai conference

In March Barkai's annual conference for Synagogue Board members will take place. Over 200 board members from Barkai communities all over the country will come to Modiin to learn how to more professionally administer their synagogues. The keynote lectures will be given by Rabbi Avraham Krispin, the Barkai rabbi in Yishuv Adam and Donny Blondheim, an organizational consultant. A meat dinner will be served and every board member will receive a gift at the the end of the evening. The conference is being co sponsored by the Union of Synagogues of Israel and its Chairman, David Ben Naeh. To register for the conference please click here.

barkai conference

At the end of December approximately 50 Barkai rabbis gathered at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem for a 2 day seminar on the subject of “The Family and Economy in an age of Postmodernism”. The seminar was held in conjun עction with the Ministry of Religious Services. The speakers included Rabbi Chaim Navon, noted columnist and author who spoke on the “Crisis of the Family in the 21st Century”, Rabbi Elie Scheinfeld who lectured on the topic of “The Challenges Standing Before the Stability of the Family in our Generation and our Responsibility During this Era” and Dr. Amiad Cohen, the Director of the Tikvah Foundation in Israel who spoke on the “Economy of the State of Israel in our Time”. Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and The Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel both came to give greetings. Each rabbi received a gift from Koren Publications.

propoganda

Several weeks ago a conference was held at the Barkai Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs on the future of the Jewish People. The goal of the conference was to educate the rabbis about the state of the Jewish people in the Diaspora and to discuss whether Israeli community rabbis have any responsibility towards the Diaspora community. Haggai Elitzur, a senior official in the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, spoke on "The Meaning of the Concept of the Nation State of the Jewish People.". Shmuel Rosner, noted columnist and Senior Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute spoke on "The Character of the Jewish People in the Diaspora". Rabbi Shai Finkelstein, Rav of Congregation Nitzanim in Jerusalem (and former Rabbi of Baron Hirsch Congregation in Memphis, TN) spoke about "The Place of Diaspora Jewry and Their Congregations in the State of Israel. Finally Rabbi Aharon Baskin the Secretary of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe spoke about the challenges facing the Jewish People in Europe.

personal training

Recently a moving and trailblazing ceremony took place at Barkai marking the successful completion of a course in personal coaching in which every rabbi received a certificate of completion dependent upon the completion of a project in their community.

The initiative to include the area of personal coaching in the Barkai curriculum was Rabbi Fine's and Rabbi Sobol's. They studied the area of coaching and came to the conclusion that the ability to strengthen others and to motivate them to achieve results and progress is most useful for rabbis being that it is part of a rabbi's job to harness the energy of the community in order to progress and to institute new programs. In addition a rabbi serves as a sympathetic ear to many and therefore it is necessary that he has the proven ability of the world of coaching so that he can be attentive and of assistance.

It was decided to turn to the head of the "Tze La'or (Go to the light)" Academy of Coaching in the Spirit of Judaism, Ran Sarid. Sarid, a former successful businessman and the founder of the Jewish cultural network, 'Dabri Shir".. Sarid's course took place over this winter. The rabbis reported acquiring skills that helped them not only in their communal work but in their personal lives as well. The warm personal relationship of Sarid towards the rabbis also contributed to the rabbi's acquisition of coaching and its tools. The moving. Barkai thanks Ran Sarid for developing a unique course for the Barkai rabbis and promises to bring more tools from the world of coaching in order to assist the rabbis in dealing with the challenges of modern times.

personal training

After the rounding success of the Sukkot Building project where Barkai rabbis sent volunteers from their communities all over Israel to build sukkot for people who were not able to build them for themselves, it was decided to do something similar for Chanuka. Volunteers were sent to people living alone, who had no one with whom to light candles in order to bring the light and happiness of the holiday to them. The project was widely covered in the Hebrew press.

personal training

Two seminar days on Conversion were recently held for Barkai rabbis. The first day took place in Modiin where the rabbis heard lectures about conversion regarding its halachic, legal and political aspects. Lectures were given by Professor Netanel Fisher, a specialist in Conversion from the Academic Center for Law and Science in Hod Hasharon and the Kohelet Forum, Moshe Adorian former National Supervisor of Conversion Classes of the Education Ministry and Rabbi David Bess, a Judge in the Beit Din for Conversions. The second day was held in Kfar Ezion where we were hosted by the Nativ program, the conversion program of the Israel Defense Forces. There we heard a panel discussion of several soldiers who were going through conversion, sat in in classes given to conversion candidates as well as in a beit din sessions where the Dayanim interviewed candidates.

Making Israel Better

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.

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Contact Us

P.O. Box 1652, Modiin 71799 Israel