Newsletter # 14 September 2013

A Year of Prosperity and Success

 A Year of Peace

A Year of Friendship and Closeness 

A Year of Giving and Compassion

!Wishing you a bright and happy New Year

The Metzilah Center Staff

Special sale of Metzilah's puclications

Organizational changes

A Civil Legal Framework For Marriage and Divorce in Israel - Now in English

New and unique Project - Online Beit Midrash

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

For Further information about the appointment of Gavison 

:by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on media

Think about it: Who's afraid of Professor Ruth Gavizon

יהודית ודמוקרטית : פתרון אצל פרופ' גביזון? (Ynet)

מהי "מדינה יהודית ודמוקרטית"? פרופ' רות גביזון תקבע (גלובס)

September 2013 Rosh HaShana 5774

From the President

Dear friends of Metzilah,

 The  year 5773 is reaching its end and the new year 5774 is about to begin.

The Past year was a year of significant activity, along with a re-examination of our organizational structure.  I see the whole year with great satisfaction. We were able to provide an impressive substantive activity, especially around our new position paper on marriage and divorce and following up on existing materials (especially those which relate to Immigration Policy). We also made difficult but correct the organizational decisions about Metzilah's future, based on sober and thorough examination of our accomplishments and abilities. I would like to thank the Board members, the Academic Council and the General Assembly - and all the people and bodies who accompanied us in these moves - for their support, advice and contribution.   


In terms of substance, the issues Metzilah is struggling with have remained in the center of the existence and identity of the State of Israeland its relations toward the prosperity of the Jews in Israel and around the world. Naturally, political-security-military issues and socio-economic issues are more urgent, but ultimately Israel's strength as a state and society, depends on its ability to know  its identity, what it is fighting for, where it came from and where it's going.

 I'm glad we expanded the scope of issues we deal with, and we are dealing now not only with the aspects of the composition of Israeli society, but also with questions of fundamental cultural significance, and the legal arrangements  which  should reflects them. Our treatment of issues of the family, marriage and divorce, and more general issues like state and religion and identity and society, illustrate this expansion. I continue to believe that the voice of Metzilah is an important and a unique one, which is vital that it continue to be sounded.


However, at this time Metzilah cannot function as a self-sufficient living organization.  Therefore, we are in the process of making it into a "virtual" entity, in a hope and a wish that the platform may permit creation and development of new materials and activities. We shall start the newyear with no office and with no permanent staff. Metzilah's work will be done primarily by volunteers or through partnerships with other organizations.

Recently, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni asked   me to prepare a proposal for the constitutional entrenchment of the state identity, following the Bills placed on the Knesset table.  Dealing with this important subject will be in the center of my own activity during the next year.  However, it is in fact the core issue of Metzilah. Indeed, accompanying the constitutional process in the sixteenth Knesset was the  first and  main activity of Metzilah in 2006. In recent years we at Metzilah in fact started working on a response to the Bills seeking to define Israel solely as the nation state of Jews. I hope and expect that there will be significant visibility and role for Metzilah in the process ahead.

I want to thank our departing staff members, who allowed for an incredible        year: Reut Portugal, our organizational coordinator, and Regev Ben - David, who was in charge of all activities around the marriage and divorce paper. They themselves began their work in Metzilah Just last year, and it was exciting to see the level of commitment and responsibility they have developed towards the organization and its goals during these months. I wish them luck, and hope to work together one day.


I also hope that the organizational changes will not reduce the interest in the vision of the organization. It is important that Metzilah will go on being a home for clarifying and promoting issues which are vital to the self-determination of Jews in Israel and worldwide. I turn to you to keep contact with us, to extend our reach through our mailing list, and to think with us about the ways in which we can realize the important role of Metzilah in the coming years.



Ruth Gavison

Founding President



  What’s New at Metzilah?

Special Sale of Metzilah Publications

These days Metzilah is starting a special sale of Metzilah publications. For updated publications catalogue here

 During the last year we were able to sell publications in large scale to pre-army programs ('Mechinot') and to high-schools, which gave the publications to their graduates as a prizes, and the responses were very good. We would appreciate if you can help us bring our publications to the attention of institutions and organizations which may be interested in purchasing them.

Organizational changes

Nirit Ashkar – Tolkowsky joined the Board.

We are currently refreshing the structure of the organization and our friends’ lists. In order to facilitate the management of the association, and reduce the number of its  General Assembly members according the law, we distinguish between the members of the organization, who are registered as members and together constitute the General Assembly, and  between its supporters. The goal is that our members will - as is required by law - Board Members and others who take part in an active and ongoing management of the organization, while others, will have the  status of non-member ‘friends’.  We stress that all friends  will  be invited to the General Assembly of Metzilah, and many  of them are involved in Metzilah’s activities on a regular basis, being key members of the Metzilah’s Academic Council.

As aforesaid , in the end of September Metzilah's office will be closed, and Reut and Regev will end their employment. Metzilah will thus have no permanent costs for wages and for holding an office. The change will allow us managerial flexibility that we need, and will allow more efficient resource extraction without a high component of permanent costs.


Recent Activities (since Passover 2013): 

A Civil Legal Framework for Marriage and Divorce in Israel

 The English version of the paper: "A Civil Legal Framework for Marriage and Divorce in Israel" is coming out these days.  The full version of the paper can be download here

The paper in Hebrew was launched in January 2013 and is available both in print and on our website here.

In May 2013 , Prof. Pinhas Shifman, one of the authors of the position paper, was interviewed to  the radio program "Agenda" . View transcription (in Hebrew)  of the interview here

In the summer seminar of "Keren Tikvah" in last August,  at Princeton University, Gavison talked Marriage and Divorce in Israel, alongside Rabbi David Stav. The Position paper "A Civil Legal Framework for Marriage and Divorce in Israel " was part of the background material  of the discussion that  was conducted there.

Ruth Gavison speaks in 'Keren Tikvah' conference, Princeton.

The Hebrew version of the position paper "A Civil Legal Framework for Marriage and Divorce in Israel" is also available since June 2013 also in the National Library in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.   The paper is available in the  reading rooms in the library and can be found through the library catalog.




The paper "Israel's coping  with irregular migration", edited by Brigadier General (Res.) Meir Elran and Prof. Ruth Gavison, was published  in June 2013. the paper includes the materials from the joint conference with the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), based on the Immigration Conference held in October  2012.

 The full version of the paper can be download from Metzilah website here.



The Two States Solution: The Partition Resolution of Palestine, Studies and Sources

The English version of the book "The Two States Solution: The Partition Resolution of Palestine, Studies and Sources" was published in early June 2013, and it's displayed for sale on the Internet.

For More information about the English book on Bloomsbury Publishing here

The book in the Hebrew version is available on our website and you can now purchase it in hard copy in the new attractive price.

Online Beit Midrash 

Metzilah is participating in a new project - "Online Beit Midrash" - the brainchild of screenwriter  Udi Lyon. The goal of the project is to allow the public to be exposed to discourse among renowned academic, on the basis of a variety of relevant sources, Jewish as well as general, academic as well as current. We are now designing our own ‘sugia’ concerning aspects of marriage and divorce.

The activity is now being  tried as a pilot, and you are welcome to enter the site:  


Lectures and Conferences

On April 23, 2013 Ruth Gavison spoke at the sixth international conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) about the issue of "Israel as Jewish and democratic state".           

                                          To the speech click here

On April 28 2013, Ruth Gavison lectured about "Parshat Behar – Hukotei", as part of "Portion of  the Week" program, at the Van Leer institute.

To the speech here

To view the conference program (in hebrew) click here

On 26 May 2013 a year ending conference was held by the pre-army programs ('Mechinot'). Gavison  spoke to thousands of the graduates in the ICC in Jerusalem about "Challenges of Zionism and Israel as Jewish and democratic state."

In June 2013, Gavison spoke  at the International Presidential Conference in the ICC. On June 19th, she participated in a discussion about Israel's Jewish character and on June 20th she lectured in panel about the interrelations between Judaism and women equality."

To the speech here

Seven meetings Serial in Van Leer Institute

The team of the paper about marriage and divorce is in the final steps of working with the Van Leer Institute about a seven meetings serial. Those meetings, in which different aspects of the issue will be discussed by renowned spokesmen and will be led by Gavison, will be held from October 2013 until January 2014 

To view the program here 


Join us on our

"1,000 Friends" Campaign!

Find us on Facebook

and donate now to 

Metzilah Center

(Donations by a secured website)

Campaign ends on

November 29th!

Facebook page

Our Facebook page is updated regularly and is pretty active. We are trying to use it as a way to encourage the exchange of ideas and issues which relate to Metzilah. You are all welcome to do so and to expand the use of the page, and our mailing list.

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 our facebook Page here

To Metzilah Website here

To join our mailing list please contact us here

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

HP Proliant ML350

 Equipment for Sale

Metzilah Center is offering for sale a web server (HP Proliant ML350, year : 2008). The server is in good condition. We have  reducedthe price of the server to 5,000 NIS (new server now costs about 16,000 NIS(

You are welcome to contact by email:

Or by telephone number 077-4020771

To support us, contact us here

          Visit our website


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