JERUSALEM (JTA) — An organization working to bridge the gap between the religious and secular in Israel hosted some 8,500 people at Shavuot learning-together sessions across Israel.
The special lectures and all-night learning programs sponsored by the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization were held at 22 different venues in major cities throughout the country. The main program, at Tzavta in Tel Aviv, included discussions on social issues, halachic challenges, cultural and personal growth, which were guided by intellectuals, rabbis, professors and academics, activists and artists.
“Shavuot is a holiday that allows Jews of diverse backgrounds to find their commonality in love of tradition and appreciation for the importance of study,” said Rabbi David Stav, co-founder of Tzohar. “Our objective was to bring Israelis together in a way that responds to their individual thirsts for knowledge and inspires a heightened connection to the holiday and the Jewish people in general.”
The organization also sponsors more than 250 Megillah readings for some 58,000 people at Purim, and the “Praying Together” Yom Kippur program at community buildings throughout Israel in the fall.