Israel Shared Society/Jewish Pluralism
We partner with individuals and organizations in Israel in their efforts to bring to fruition a nation that is both Jewish and democratic, with pluralistic diverse means of Jewish expression. We support an Israeli society that is open and tolerant and that provides equal opportunity for all its citizens.
Israeli society is made of a very rich and delicate fabric. It consists of immigrants and veterans, liberals and conservatives, Zionists, Arab Israelis, Druze, Ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews, Sephardim and Ashkenazim and many more diverse groups. The survival of Israel depends not only on security from outside threats but on the ability of these groups to live together peacefully. Helping to promote not merely “coexistence” but a true shared society is a priority for Global Connections.
- Our History: The Greater MetroWest Jewish community has had a long history of addressing this pressing need. Beginning in 1997, Federation embarked on this work under the leadership of then-MetroWest President, Murray Laulicht, who established the Religious Pluralism Committee. At that time, the issue being debated was about “who is a Jew.” This debate over religious pluralism has caused division between Diaspora Jews and Israeli government policy. In response, MetroWest launched our important work focusing on helping to build a shared society in Israel.
With over 25 years of hands-on experience under our belts, we are proud of the work we do to build civil society in Israel. Our programs strengthen children at risk, integrate Ethiopian Jews as full citizens, foster religious pluralism, enhance Israeli–Arab-Jewish dialogue, leverage our partnership connections, and advocate for a Jewish, democratic Israel. We are making a difference!
Jews are uniquely responsible for the well-being of other Jews around the world, especially for those who do not have a safety net. We educate our community about Jews anywhere in the Diaspora, and we have a special partnership with the Jewish community of Cherkassy, Ukraine. We also implement new overseas relationships and support the work of our international partners, including the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and World ORT.
In Cherkassy, we invest in the most at-risk populations and revive Jewish life through: the Hebrew school, women’s group, community center, and special summer family camp. The camp is staffed by young adults from our Greater MetroWest community and our partner communities in Israel. There are people speaking English, Hebrew, and Ukrainian, and all are committed to creating a meaningful Jewish experience for campers young and old.
For over 25 years, Negev Council has developed vibrant partnerships within this desert region in the southern part of Israel, supporting community development and programming that enhances Jewish life and identity. Our Partnership2Gether (P2G) programs, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), create powerful connections and relationships – living bridges – between Americans and Israelis.
Greater MetroWest has been the lead Federation in helping to make the desert bloom in the Negev. Through Partnerships Network, we strengthen our community partnerships in the region, including Ofakim/Merchavim, Arad, and Kibbutz Erez.
“In 1955 David Ben Gurion challenged the people of Israel to develop the Negev and make it flourish, and we have taken that challenge seriously.” – Lori Klinghoffer, former Chair of Negev Council
We bring Israel to life in Greater MetroWest by creating authentic Israel connections through our delegation of shlichim and rishonim (emissaries). By working with more than 40 synagogues, JCCs, day schools, and other institutions around GMW, we bring spirit, knowledge, and love of Israel to our community.