Rashut Ha’Rabim: The Jerusalem Forum of Jewish Renaissance strengthens and empowers Jewish renaissance and pluralistic activity taking place in Jerusalem.
Rashut Ha’Rabim represents a platform for joint activity for 35 Jerusalem organizations that share a Jewish, Zionist, and pluralistic worldview.
Through Rashut Ha’Rabim, Jerusalem’s Jewish pluralist and renewal community is able to influence and partner with the Jerusalem Municipality, allowing member organizations and the community at large to benefit from municipal resources, to better reach the public at large, and partake in Jerusalem’s revitalization.
Jerusalem’s population is exceptionally diverse – divided almost equally between Arab, ultra-Orthodox, and religious-Zionist/traditional/secular communities. Jerusalem faces a myriad of challenges, including negative migration of young residents, and the dubious status of one of Israel’s poorest cities.
The past decades have further seen a concerted attempt by extreme religious factions to refashion Jerusalem as an ultra-Orthodox city, with restaurants, cafes and cultural centers closed on Shabbat, women removed from the public sphere, and increased support for ultra-Orthodox institutions at the expense of others.
Fortunately, the last decade has also witnessed the emergence and growth of a strong sector of pluralistic-religious, traditional, and secular Jerusalemites who have come together to fight for their city on all fronts–political, civic, educational, and cultural. These forces have brought a sorely needed energy and joie de vivre back to the city.
Jerusalem has since become renowned for quality cultural events, varied pluralistic Jewish educational institutions its active civic scene, and the growth of multiple movements aimed at bringing diverse communities together. Jerusalem is no longer seen as a ground zero religious vs. secular battleground. Rather, the city serves as a model for deep and abiding partnerships between people of all religious denominations working together to create a pluralistic and open city.
The overall success of recent years described above is not to be taken for granted, and many of the organizations involved in this renaissance, almost all of which are members of Rashut Ha’Rabim, contend with a lack of resources in an often hostile environment. Based on our intimate knowledge of these organizations and their needs, we see it as essential to consolidate the achievements and successes of the disparate organizations and movements working for an inclusive Jerusalem, and to help provide them with support that they need and deserve.
In October 2018, Rashut HaRabim launched a HUB aptly named Bait Rashut Ha’Rabim: The Center for Jewish Renaissance and Pluralism . The Center is a hub for Jewish pluralism organizations, communities and activists from secular to Orthodox. Located in the heart of Kiryat HaYovel the Center offers affordable work space, as well as professional support to the Jewish pluralism organization in Jerusalem and beyond.