Newsletter # 13 March 2013

The Metzilah Center Staff

The Metzilah Center

was founded in 2005, to address the growing
tendency among Israelis and Jews worldwide
to question the legitimacy of Jewish Nation
State and its compatibility with universal values

March 2013 passover

From the President

Dear friends of Metzilah,

These are the days just before the Jewish holiday of Passover. These are also the days of a new government, formed  after general elections.  The state of Israel is facing  great challenges, both internal and external.  In Metzilah, too,  we deal with challenge of substance  and organization. 

Here are our activities since our last newsletter:

All the things we do are components in our general goal: securing  conditions of prosperity and self-determination  for Jews in Israel and around the world, with the centrality of Israel as the nation-state of Jews in achieving this goal. 

The vision of state of Israel which is both Jewish and Democratic,  the nation state of Jews as well as a state that respects the rights of all its citizens and its residents, irrespective of religion or nationality, Is not obvious and not simple at all. 

True,  this is the founding vision of the declaration of state of Israel, but  it seems as if  some of  our  elected  representatives have forgotten it.   It's necessary to continue and defend on the right of Jews "to live as free people in our  homeland"  against those who deny its legitimacy. But it's essential at the same time to secure the conditions that facilitate and ensure that this state remains democratic, just and fair. 

This is the challenge of the  state of Israel. It is the challenge  of the new government. It's also the challenge of Metzilah. I hope that we shall  be successful. 

On the organizational level,  Metzilah Center  is  focusing  now in completing and implementing  of the new position  paper "Civil Legal Framework for Marriage and Divorce in Israel",  (Hebrew version), working further with our existing materials, and meeting our outstanding  commitments , and strengthening our  virtual activity. At the same time we examine possibilities and opportunities of new organizational development. 





Can be downloaded from our website here

For further reading about the book click here  (in Hebrew)

  What’s New at Metzilah?

New Position Paper on Marriage and Divorce

Metzilah has now published the Hebrew version of this important
paper, proposing the abolition of the orthodox monopoly over
marriage a divorce in Israel.  The comprehensive position paper written by Prof. Pinchas Shiffman and Dr. Avishalom Westreich, edited by Prof. Ruth Gavison.   We had a very successful and well attended conference on the paper December 31 at the Academic Center of Law & Business in Ramat Gan.  We expect
to publish the English version in the late spring of this year.

In the meantime, you can view the Hebrew version and  the massive media exposure the paper has received in Israel in our Hebrew site here

You can download the English abstract here 

I want to report on some personal changes:

Maj. Gen. (Res.) Giora Romm has stepped down  as the
chairman of Metzilah. Giora stood at the helm since the beginning of our activity in 2007, and his contribution was significant throughout the time: He helped us generously in all aspects of the work including directing, development, fund-raising, team recruitment and designing workplans and strategies.  , We send him special thanks because he continued navigating Metzilah after he has undertaken  the very demanding job of  the Director of  Civil Aviation Authority of Israel. I wish him good luck in his important work and in everything else. 

We said goodbye to the Academic director Doron Shultziner and from the Activity director Naama Rosenfeld. I want to thank them for their work.  I wish our two new staff people -  activity coordinator Reut Portugal and Marriage and Divorce coordinator Regev Ben-David -  great success in their work.

For further reading about the book click here (in


Immigration and the Nation State - International Conference : IDI and Metzilah : 17


The English Version of Metzilah’s book The Two State Solution: The UN Partition Resolution of Mandatory Palestine: Analysis and sources edited by Ruth Gavison

will be published- printed and online- by Continuum Books Press in the US. We thank Continuum Books Press for their cooperation on this matter.

The Hebrew book is available both in print and on our website.

•December 4th, we had a Panel on the forthcoming book on the 29th November 1947 edited by Gavison  (chaired by Joseph Weiler)  to summaries of the event here

Immigration to Israel

We continue to work on this important subject from all perspectives.  

•On 29th October 2012 we had a widely-attended conference on the subject of Immigration to Israel and national security with the Israel National Security Studies Center.  A booklet with the lectures in that conference will be published soon.

•March 17-18 2013 the IDI and Metzilah held a joint international conference on Immigration and the Nation State. You can read the program here.  for pictures and more information here.

An interview with Gavison and Shapira re the conference was published in the Jerusalem Post. you can read the interview here


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Campaign ends on

November 29th!


During December 2012 Gavison gave a few talks and lectures:

· December 3rd.  A public lecture on  “The State of Israel and Modern Jewish Identities”, at the centre for Jewish studies on the University of Toronto.

· December 12th, Panel on Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, Boston JCCenter  (with Dan Kurzer and Noah Feldman, led by Leonard Fein) . For more information about the event here.

· December 19th, Lecture to Tikvah fellows on ‘The Soul of Israel and the Future of the Jewish People”.  

We invite all our friends to join our Facebook page and to invite other friends of yours whom are interested in Metzilah Center's activity and ideas to do so as well.

To join our mailing list please contact us here

We will be happy to receive any comments or thoughts for the coming new year.

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Bound hardcopies may be ordered by contacting Metzilah’s Jerusalem offices

contact us here

Can be downloaded from our website here



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