T'ruah's Year in Israel Student Program
North American rabbinical students, cantorial students and others studying in Israel, are encouraged to participate in T'ruah's Year in Israel Student Program. This interdenominational program is an opportunity for talented students spending the academic year in Israel to learn about human rights in Israel and the West Bank and to take action on human rights issues.
For information about volunteer leadership opportunities for North American students in Israel during the 2012/2013 academic year, please contact Marisa Elana James, T'ruah's Rabbinical Student Fellow in Israel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us in Israel during the 2012/2013 Academic Year
Students (as well as students' spouses and partners) are encouraged to participate in individual trips and learning opportunities or as many of the events as they can. All events and trips are free!
Friday, May 10, 8:30 am-4:30 pm: Bedouin Rights Tour in the Negev
- Learn about Bedouin rights in Israel, and specifically about the role of Bedouin women in transforming their society.
- Visit Sidreh's women's weaving cooperative in Lakiya which provides employment and business training and income for dozens of Bedouin women.
- Travel to the unrecognized village of Khasem Zaneh to learn about land rights and the impact on the community of living in villages which are not legally recognized by the state.
- In both places, learn how Bedouin Israelis are teaming up with Jewish Israelis or working independently to improve Bedouin life in the Negev, what their successes have been, and what they still want to accomplish.
- We will leave from Gan haPa'amon at 8:30 am and return there at 4:30 pm (Shabbat gets in at 6:45 pm in Jerusalem).
- Bring your own lunch, snacks, and drinks.
- Note: we know that this is also Rosh Hodesh, and we sincerely hope that those who normally go to Women of the Wall will also go this month; we purposely are leaving a bit later than we normally do so that there's time to go for the first hour of davenning!
Required Follow-up Discussion Session: Monday, May 13th from 7:30-9:30pm at Beit Shmuel/Mercaz Shimshon (at the rear entrance of Hebrew Union College). Dinner from Village Green will be served.
September 10, 2012: Study Tour to South Tel Aviv to Learn about African Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Israel with the African Resource Development Center (ARDC)
T'ruah and ARDC provided a tour of the neighborhood around Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station and Levinsky Park so students could meet with and hear from African asylum-seekers and Israelis who are working with them. Participants learned about the legal and ethical implications of what is happening today with African asylum-seekers in Israel.
October 19, 2012: Harvest Olives and Bear Witnesses in the West Bank
We joined Rabbis for Human Rights to assist Palestinian farmers harvest olives in the West Bank. Participants learned more about why RHR regularly accompanies and protects these farmers.
November 5, 2012: What Does It Mean to Be a Rabbi for Human Rights?
Find out what it means to be a "rabbi for human rights." Learn from our tradition about the need to safeguard human rights based on Jewish texts and collective history. Get to know fellow seminary students while learning about the mission and work of T'ruah and Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel and how you can get involved in the two organizations.
November 26, 2012: How We Teach and Talk about Conflict and War in Israel as Future Rabbis?
An open discussion of the rabbinic role in times of crisis - specifically when the crisis is in Israel. While we know that at many of your schools there has been at least some discussion of the political background to the current situation in Gaza, and that many of you feel personally supported by your faculty, the goal of this discussion will be different. As future clergy (and spouses of future clergy), we will probably not be called upon to teach political science or history in our congregations, but we will need to provide a strong pastoral presence to people with a wide variety of political beliefs and a wide range of knowledge and experience. How does one fill that role well, supporting people through a time of confusion and fear regardless of how much you agree or disagree with them politically?
December 8, 2012: Human Rights Shabbat Potluck and Havdallah
Spend Shabbat afternoon eating, praying, singing, and reflecting with your peers while learning about human rights.
December 21, 2012: Human Rights Tour of East Jerusalem
Visit East Jerusalem neighborhoods with Rabbi Michael Schwartz and see Jerusalem from another side. Learn about the Separation Barrier, home demolitions, and the struggle for control over Jerusalem, including visits to current "hot spots" such as Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah. Includes text study and meetings with Palestinian residents and leaders of efforts to wage a non-violent struggle for justice together with Israelis. Meet with residents of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan and learn about their lives. Meet archaeologist Yonatan Mizrachi and get an insider’s view of where archaeology and politics collide.
January 7, 2013: Deliver 700+ Letters to Prime Minister Netanyahu's Office from Clergy Opposed to Settlement Expansion
Join T'ruah in delivering more than 700 letters to Prime Minister Netanyahu's office from rabbis, cantors, and fellow rabbinical and cantorial students opposed to settlement expansion into E-1, as well as elsewhere in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
January 11, 2013: Poverty and Social Welfare in Israel
Economic and social justice are hot topics in Israel today – especially with elections coming up! Learn more about Israel's policies in these areas, and meet with some of those who are working to guard the human rights of the poorest Israelis. Visit Rabbis for Human Rights' Rights Center in Hadera with Rabbi Idit Lev, RHR's Director of Economic and Social Justice.
February 21: Rabbinic Human Rights Text Study with Rabbi Gideon Sylvester
Learn about human rights from Jewish texts taught by Rabbi Gideon Sylvester. Rabbi Sylvester is the British United Synagogue's rabbi in Israel and directs the education program for the Jerusalem branch of the Rene Cassin Fellowship Program in Judaism and Human Rights. He previously served as the director of Rabbis for Human Rights' Beit Midrash for Human Rights at the Hillel House of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prior to making aliya, Gideon was rabbi of Radlett United Synagogue, Britain's fastest growing Modern Orthodox synagogue. He has also worked as an adviser at the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and lectured and taught at a variety of educational programs in Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
March 8: Human Rights Tour of Hebron with T'ruah and Breaking the Silence
Learn about Hebron from rabbinical and human rights perspectives from T'ruah's staff and a former IDF soldier who served in Hebron. Spend part of the day visiting the Palestinian side of the city where we will meet with members of Women in Hebron, a fair-trade collective.