On the upcoming Shavuot holiday, we will celebrate the revelation of the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. This verse from Exodus describes the occasion: "And there Israel encamped before the mountain." And the sages explain that the use of the singular verb vayichan –(encamp) shows that the people acted as “one person with a single heart." From the exaltation of the past before the mountain, to the tragedy of the present, also on a mountain: 45 worshipers perished on Mount Meron in the worst civil disaster in the nation’s history. Although the disaster struck one sector, the Haredim, the entire Israeli collective – including its Arab citizens – marked a national day of mourning and many volunteered to help the victims in any way possible. Once again, the famous Israeli solidarity revealed itself in a time of crisis. Will we be able to sustain it – to function "as one" – in Israel’s everyday life?


Prof. Yedidia Stern



The Meron Tragedy: When Tradition Meets a Changing Reality

Shmuel Rosner

Credit: Mark Neyman / Government Press Office



Meron Commission of Inquiry Should Restore State's Authority

Prof. Yedidia Stern, Dr. Haim Zicherman      

The State of Israel allows autonomous societal groups to conduct their affairs outside the rule of law. A state commission of inquiry should propose a plan for restoring governance.

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Why is it so Hard to Order Religion and State Relations in Israel?

Dr. Shlomo Fischer

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Credit: RICIfoto /


Was the Coronavirus Year Really One of Deepening Polarization?

Dr. Inbal Hakman

Data on the three areas of tension – political, religious, and economic – indicate that the coronavirus year and its accompanying crises intensified the polarization between different Israeli population sectors.

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Alex Eidelman /


Climate Change and the Jewish Question

Rabbi Dr. Dov Maimon

Improving the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora requires a new approach, one that bypasses the sociological and structural barriers, and aims at collaboration to achieve unifying goals, such as addressing climate change.

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Jewish Families Project

Dr. Gitit Levy-Paz

It is worthwhile to watch “The New Jew” and enjoy an initial, essentially comic and lighthearted look at Jewish identity or identities across the ocean. But remember that this is only a cursory glimpse. It would be worthwhile to add additional layers of deeper observation.

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The views expressed in the newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of JPPI.

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