The Yaacov Herzog Center (YHC) is one of the most prominent Orthodox organizations active in the field of Pluralistic Judaism in Israel. Founded by the Religious Kibbutz Movement in 1987, it is open to all Israelis to learn to view “the other” as a member of the family. The Herzog Center focuses on a study method which promotes dialogue between different groups in Israeli society, bonding them together through joint study and sharing of views and sources with fellow students.
Background and Goals
The interpersonal encounter between the students serves to enrich the public discourse in Israel and they thereby become part of the ongoing chain of historical Jewish interpretation. In so doing, the YHC is training ambassadors of an attentive and pluralistic Jewish-Israeli culture. These students go forth from our classrooms into Israeli society to voice and spread this special message of Jewish cultural pluralism from the country's southern periphery to the wider public throughout the country. In so doing the Center:
Makes Jewish culture relevant in the lives of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora
Advances dialogue between individuals and different groups in Israeli society, acknowledging what is shared while maintaining differences
Cultivates an open, responsive and pluralistic Judaism in the public space, with an emphasis on the southern region
Strengthens the sense of belonging of groups and individuals to Israel and Israeli society
Each week, the YHC convenes hundreds of people of all ages – religious, traditional and secular, from urban and rural communities – at its Kibbutz Ein Tzurim campus and at sites throughout the country to study together in a tranquil and inclusive atmosphere that respects the different traditions and cultures of all participants.
Thousands of people from the southern periphery of Israel and beyond participate in this diverse range of programs.
Description of Program Activities
We offer a wide variety of programs for adults: year-long courses taught by the best lecturers; intimate and creative Batei Midrash - study groups; special lectures throughout the country; educational and experiential field trips; cultural and educational events; special in-service training courses for groups from the Diaspora; empowerment programs for women, and more, all in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The courses have all been developed by a highly qualified and experienced staff and are taught by first-rate lecturers, who combine in-depth and professional knowledge with an open and pluralistic approach.