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“Who is a Jew?” with Guest Speaker Rabbi Tamir Nir
August 9, 2019 , 7:00 pmFree
Our guest speaker will be Rabbi Tamir Nir, the rabbi of ‘Kehilat Achva B’Kerem’ community in Jerusalem, which he founded in 2007. He teaches Bible and Jewish thought at a mixed (religious and secular) high school, and serves as chairman of the Heschel Center for Social and Environmental Thinking and Sustainability. Rabbi Nir served as deputy mayor of Jerusalem, and as the head of The Secular Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change.
Rabbi Nir has a degree in architecture and urban planning from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. He is ordained as a Reform rabbi and has a master’s degree in pluralistic Jewish education.
Who is a Jew?
This question riffs off of Israeli society, which is wrapped up in the question of the identity and character of the Jewish state. The question of Jewish identity has caused Israeli governments’ rise and fall, and has led to Israeli infighting, sometimes to the point of violence and murder.
For 2,000 years we dreamed of the return to Zion and the establishment of a Jewish state. Today, when we have a state, the main struggle is over the identity of the state: Who is a Jew? What should the Jewish state look like? Who is authorized to determine this?