Newsletter # 11 August 2012

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


Join us on our

"1,000 New Friends" Campaign

and donate now to Metzilah Center

(Donations by a secured website)

Campaign ends on November 29th

Shalom to all friends of Metzilah Center

Words from our Founding President , Professor Ruth Gavison

The first half of 2012 was a period of impressive activity and important renewal.  The Metzilah Center has completed significant phases in its organizational structuring, crystallized its work plan and developed its professional staff.  These endeavors were professionally led by Ofer Glanz, who served as Metzilah’s executive director for over a year.

I want to take a moment to thank Ofer for his enormous contributions to Metzilah, particularly in regard to reorganizing and shaping our professional infrastructure.  Our organization is much stronger now due to his efforts.  I wish him much success in his new position at the JDC and thank him for his willingness to continue on as part of Metzilah's board of directors.

One of our organizational goals during this past year has been to reduce the strong identification of Metzilah with me personally as well as reducing its dependency on my presence.  As part of this process, I have also ended my professional tenure at Metzilah.  For me this is a significant move and I want to say a few words.  Formally I started working at Metzilah only on February 1st 2008, one day after the final Winograd Report was submitted. I was there, however, when Metzilah was registered as a formal organization on March 28th 2005 (A date which, incidentally, happened to be a very significant birthday for me), and of course I’ve been with Metzilah ever since.

I shall be clear- my decision to change my status within Metzilah is not due to ideological reasons, nor does it stem from irresponsibility or from reluctance on my part to continue in this great effort.  Rather, this is an opportunity for myself and for organization to formally redefine our relationship. Metzilah faces great organizational challenges both in carving out our future path and building our organizational framework, as well as in fundraising and support.  On both levels it is essential for the organization not to be and not be seen as a one person operation. It is essential for the organization to stand on its own and to manage itself independently. I will still be part of Metzilah and help promote its goals and objectives, but from now on I will do so as a lay leader.  That said, I will remain the president of Metzilah and the chairperson of the academic council for so long as I am needed in the position.

I want to thank again all our friends. Some of you have walked a very long way with Metzilah.  I know that for some of our supporters, your involvement has been motivated by a generous desire to assist me personally, and your support is an expression of your loyalty and identification with me as well as with the ideals and goals of Metzilah. I greatly acknowledge and appreciate your trust and support.  Together, it is time to examine Metzilah- its importance, its contribution and its standing – from an independent prism.

As always, I believe that Metzilah provides a unique and vital voice. The need for Metzilah’s  voice is in fact growing ever more imperative.  Together we must strive forward  and work towards expressing this voice through the most effective means possible.  We need to roll up our sleeves and work towards that goal.  I am sure that with the shared strengths of our staff, board of directors, general assembly as well as funders, supporters, and volunteers, we can achieve what we seek to accomplish.

This is a great time for Metzilah and for the State of Israel.  Many challenges lie ahead of us, but I am hopeful that we will succeed.


Ruth Gavison,

Founding president


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

contact us here

Can be downloaded from our website here





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

contact us here

Can be downloaded from our website here

What’s New at Metzilah?

Today it's clearer than ever : Israel must have a comprehensive immigration policy

In June of this year, MK Meir Sheetrit of the Kadima party put forward a Bill suggesting a full and comprehensive immigration policy for Israel. This bill is based on the Metzilah Center’s position paper "Managing Global Migration: A Proposal for Immigration Policy in Israel" by Shlomo Avineri , Liav Orgad, and Amnon Rubinstein from 2009. The bill has been signed by 28 MK's including MK Eitan Kabel from the Labor party.

 MK Meir Sheetrit and Prof. Shlomo Avineri were interviewed on the Reshet Beit radio station on June 24th, 2012 for the program "Talking about Everything (Hakol Diburim)" with Yosi Hadar dealing with this issue.

Listen to interview here (in Hebrew)

New position paper:  The Claim for Recognition for Israel as a Jewish State, written by Dr. Tal Becker

In late May we launched our latest position paper, a Hebrew version of The Claim for Recognition for Israel as a Jewish State, written by Dr. Tal Becker who has recently been appointed to be the deputy-chief legal advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In cooperation with Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute, Metzilah hosted an event debating the questions concerning Israel’s demand for Palestinian and international recognition of Israel’s character as a Jewish State in the framework of a possible peace agreement. Minister Benny Begin of the Likud party, son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, joined Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, President of the Hartman Institute, and Dr. Becker who responded to their comments on his paper. Metzilah’s Academic Director, Dr. Doron Shultziner, chaired the panel. The event was advertised in the media and social networks and was later mentioned in the media. The discussion was lively and well attended by the general public and academic community.

Photos and video excerpts (in Hebrew) of the event are available on Metzilah’s website.

You can download a free pdf of the position paper here:

English (The Washington Institute for near East)

Hebrew (The Metzilah Center)


Bound hardcopies may be ordered by contacting Metzilah’s Jerusalem office here.


Staffing Updates

Ruth Gavison has left Metzilah’s professional staff, but will continue to serve as the founding president of Metzilah and the chairwoman of the Academic Council.

Ofer Glanz, our CEO for nearly the past two years is leaving his position but will continue on with the MetzilahCenter as an active board member.  Ofer now holds a new position at the FSU Joint, and we wish him much success there.

Paulie Fraiman has joined Metzilah’s staff as the new Director of Resource Development. Paulie made Aliyah five years ago from the US and has previously worked in fund raising for the HebrewUniversity and  other various organizations. We wish her much luck and success.

Academic Library Initiative

The MetzilahCenter is dedicated to education and to sharing our work with the rising generation of leaders and scholars. As such, Metzilah has decided to launch a new publications initiative aimed at academic and university libraries both in Israel and abroad.

The new initiative offers libraries the opportunity to obtain high quality hard copy editions of publications in Hebrew and English.

The publications are now being offered at a discounted rate. It is our sincere hope and belief that these works will make an important contribution to research, policy and scholastic endeavors. Please consider recommending to your library to order Metzilah’s publications. 

For purchase please contact us here

General Assembly

On July 25th the general Assembly of Metzilah met.  During the meeting, the
Center’s financial and annual reports for 2011 were reviewed and confirmed.

Reports in Hebrew can be reviewed here



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

Join us on our

"1,000 New Friends" Campaign

and donate now to

 Metzilah Center

(Donations by a secured website)

Campaign ends on

November 29th!

Future Publications and Projects

With the success of our recently launched position paper The Claim for Recognition for Israel as a Jewish State, Metzilah is moving forward with two new and timely publications.

The November 29th Resolution Sixty-Five Years Later

The Partition Resolution and the Controversy Surrounding it: Studies and Sources

Metzilah is currently gearing up for the English language launch of its book on the crucial November 29th, 1947 UN resolution on the partition plan for British Mandatory Palestine. The book is an extensive academic work featuring studies by several notable scholars in the field as well as an invaluable collection of primary sources.

Metzilah will be launching the publication, marking exactly sixty-five years since the historic UN decision. Details of publication are now being worked out. The book will be available in hard copy and electronic format. For further information, please contact Metzilah’s Jerusalem office.


Civil Marriage in Israel

Since our last newsletter, Metzilah has made significant progress in developing and funding our upcoming position paper on civil marriage and religious monopoly over personal status issues in Israel. We feel this is a critical endeavor with relevance to Israel’s entire population - Jewish and non-Jewish alike - as well as for the global Jewish community.

We are also working to develop an effective impact strategy to gain public support and awareness and help advance our recommendations in the Knesset.  We are happy to report that we have secured initial earmarked funding that will make promoting this project more effective.


Read more about Metzilah and about our publications on our website

Visit our new and improved site


Metzilah in the News

The MetzilahCenter’s important work and far reaching impact on a broad range of topics has garnered mentions and feature reports in several major publications in the last few months, including:

June 26th- A new Ynet op-ed piece on the need for a comprehensive immigration policy in Israel discussed Metzilah’s position paper Managing Global Migration: A Strategy for Immigration Policy in Israel

For further reading click here

June 25th- Haaretz cited a Metzilah report in an article on the US Orthodox community’s projected voting trends for the 2012 Presidential election

For further reading click here

June 17th- The Jewish Daily Forward featured Metzilah in an article about Israel’s evolving immigration policy towards African migrants

For further reading click here

April 26th- Metzilah Founding President Ruth Gavison authored a feature article for the Huffington Post as part of their series on liberal Judaism 

For further reading click here



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