Since 1989, Elul has developed programs nurturing a new Jewish discourse in Israel – pluralistic, open and accessible. At Elul, hundreds of Israelis from the most diverse backgrounds encounter Jewish and universal, modern and classic texts, and learn to incorporate Jewish values and culture into their everyday lives.
Israeli society is torn from within by the polarization between religious and secular Jews, which plays itself out in almost every social or political conflict that arises. Faced by political disillusion and economic difficulties, the social and cultural conflicts based on different interpretations of Jewish identity in Israel are often shunted aside. Yet these are the very issues that lie at the crux of our ability to stand together in the face of adversity and work together to solve our problems.
Polarization between secular and religious communities and the estrangement from Jewish culture is exacerbated in Israel’s periphery where economic and social problems often cloud the residents’ vision and limit their ability to seek avenues for self-development and cultural-spiritual enrichment.