The Meeting Place amuta (non-profit organization - see the detials below) sees its goal in bringing together the secular and religious Jews of Israel on the basis of strong ties with their Land and their people, as well as in studying their cultural heritage. To attain the goal, we think it is critical to apply pluralistic approach and tolerance towards the views of different population groups.
We, the founders of The Meeting Place Association, are Russian-born Israelis who, despite our varied views and attitudes, share a common love for Jewish people, the Torah, the Land of Israel and its spiritual heart – the Temple Mount. We advocate for dialogue among different opinions and Jewish lifestyles, from secular to ultra-orthodox, as well as openness to and friendly cooperation with non-Jews, both local and foreign.
There are several lines of activities in which the Meeting Place is engaged:
1. The Excursion Project
Purpose: to familiarize Russian-speaking Israelis with the Jewish Land. We want our countrymen to return to the roots of the Jewish history and to realize their affiliation with Our Land and the continuity of its past and present.
Our project is the first and, as of today, the biggest in Israel placing emphasis on the Jewish history and on the part played by every Tribe of Israel in the development of our State. We also take people to see Jewish settlements and show them the developed network of farms, enterprises and educational institutions located there. When meeting with the inhabitants of Jewish settlements, people can observe the everyday life of settlers and their achievements.
About four thousand Russian-speaking Israelis take part in our excursions every year, while number of excursions is close to hundred a year. We have received a lot of favorable comments and responses. It has been mentioned by mass media more than once. Both secular sightseers from big cities and residents of religious settlements are offered a possibility to get to know each other better.
In last years we started including visits to Arab villages while taking tour of Jewish settlements and historical places. The process is very complicated, includes psychological conflicts and security considerations, but connection with non-Jew citizens of a country seems to us very important part of our connection with our Land.
2. Ascension of the Temple Mount
Ascension of the Temple Mount is part of our excursion project and we consider it to be one of the most important lines of our activities. With our assistance, over the past three years, scores of groups ascended the Temple Mount on monthly basis.
It is necessary to point out that each ascension is carried out in conformity with the Halakha and all the participants of the events are instructed accordingly.
After our travel book on Temple mount was published, we also made scores of presentations all over Israel, in Russian, Hebrew and English, seeking to open to the people the importance of this most saint place in the world.
3. Publishing activity.
Our first project was "Transparent Kippa" newsletter which we published for one year period
Among other publications were as follows:
- A translation from Hebrew into Russian of first ever travel book about Judea and Samaria (by K. Eldad). Our edition was substantially expanded with additions interesting to Russian-speaking reader. We are working on a 3-language internet site based on this book.
- An Israel land Passover Aggadah (bilingual Hebrew-Russian) including 5th cup of wine and other additions specific to Israel land and based on less known traditions and ideas of different authors. Also seder for last day of Passover ("Mashiach Seder") is included.
- Books on the Bible and Jewish Studies
Purpose: reviewing the work of our educational centers in different cities, drawing-up plans for the future, strengthening relations between activists, and encouraging cultural awareness between different communities.
Our organization has conducted nine workshops, which were attended by 100-150 people each. The workshops included lectures on Jewish topical subjects, excursions and discussions on projects. Among the themes discussed: Temple Mount; conversion to Judaism; study of Torah by secular people; possibility of dialogue with Islam; Redemption – what it is?
5. Active help to Jewish farmers
As it is known, boycott movement in the West and anti-settlement policies of EU build serious problems to Jewish farmer's work in Judea and Samaria. Thus our organization started marketing of their production, both inside Israel and abroad, including sending gift parcels with such production to holidays.
6. Setting up Russian-speaking educational centers in different cities in Israel.
Purpose: for secular and religious Jews, to meet and study together. In different years, such groups were functioning in Jerusalem, Haifa, Rehovot and Tel Aviv. As to now, Jerusalem group is the most active. So far, among the subject matters were Talmud, Jerusalem Temple history, history and philosophy of prophecy.
7. Discussion center
Purpose: to form a new Israeli consciousness in the process of open discussions while meeting the people and the ideas that would be otherwise outside once' everyday area of interests.
Examples of discussion center meetings are:
Meeting with one of leaders of Neturei Karta movement, with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, with MK rav Amsalem, with Arab and a Jew from neighboring settlement, with Talmud literature researcher Dr. Reuven Kippervasser, series of lections on Quran by Prof. Dan Shapira, and many more.
8. Rock in the desert.
As known, BDS movement and likewise organization make everything possible against cultural connections between Israel and the West, working against performers that visit Israel, let alone Judea and Samaria. Thus it was so important for us to bring first-line rock groups to appear in the midst of Judea, in desert near Nokdim. Three concerts already were organized and brought hundreds of rock fans here. These concerts bring message of peace and normality to our terror-stricken and war-thorn region.
Meeting Place is a non-profit organization registered in Israel No. 580469963
The permission of the Ministry of Finance of Israel to paragraph 46 valid until 31/12/2019
Account name: Meeting Place
Account number: 220779
Mailing address of the Bank: Oley Hagordom str, 1, Jerusalem, 9380101