Let’s celebrate Hiddush, new Jewish advocacy organization, aimed at “promoting religious freedom and diversity” in Israel. Its a public education organization comprised as a partnership between Israeli Jews and world Jewry. And it has a purpose, direction and leadership that makes it destined to move Israel in the direction of religious freedom.
Hiddush, which in Hebrew means innovation and renewal, marks an unprecedented new drive to strengthen Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and to realize the promise of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which states that “The State of Israel… will uphold freedom of religion and conscience and ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion.”
The new organization was launched at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 14th, held at the historic building where, on May 14, 1948, Israel’s independence was announced and David Ben Gurion, the country’s first prime minister, read Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
Hiddush is led by Israeli and Jerusalem-based Rabbi Uri Regev, Esq. as its president and CEO (husband to Garri Regev, my former Bar Mitzvah tutor and clarinet teacher), and chaired by prominent Los Angeles-based American businessman and Jewish philanthropic and communal leader Stanley P. Gold. On its Board of Directors are author and activist Amos Oz and Rabbi Henry (Hank) Skirball, former head of NFTY in Israel.
This launch marks the first time that Jewish leaders hailing from the worlds of religion, finance, entertainment, academia, and more have come together from the various Jewish religious streams and secular Judaism and from diverse political views, to promote religious freedom and diversity in Israel.
Once I heard about the creation of Hiddush, its leadership and direction, it took me about 5 seconds to decide to sign up and support it. You should too! Support Hiddush here.