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Israel's Democracy in Crisis: A Discussion with Dr. Yizhar Hess

Sunday, March 12, 2023 19 Adar 5783

10:00 AM - 11:00 AMON ZOOM ONLY

Today, a proposed overhaul of Israel's judicial system is putting the country's future as a democracy at risk. How can and should Diaspora Jews act in the face of this crisis? Join Dr. Yizhar Hess, Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and a representative of Mercaz Olami, and Rabbi Ari Lucas to discuss new developments. Opening remarks by Rabbi Alan Silverstein, President of Mercaz Olami.

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Dr. Yizhar Hess
Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization

Following his military service, Yizhar earned a BA in Political Science and Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A member of the Israeli Bar, his law degree is from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He holds an MA in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem and his PhD in Sociology and Education from Sussex University in Brighton, England.

Yizhar has a broad range of experience in Jewish communal service. After holding the Deputy Director position at the Shorashim Centre for Jewish Studies, Yizhar served as the Jewish Agency’s community shaliach to Tucson. On his return to Israel, he worked for the Jewish Agency as Director of Partnerships.

Yizhar has professional experience in advertising and journalism. He is a regular contributor to the Israeli press on the subjects of religion and state and is the co-editor of the book, Questions About God, published by Ma’ariv.

Between 2007-2020 Yizhar served as the Executive Director of the Masorti Movement in Israel - part of the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement dedicated to a traditional, egalitarian and pluralistic vision of Israel and Judaism. Yizhar represented the Masorti Movement in the negotiations with the Israeli government regarding egalitarian prayer at the Kotel, and he is one of the leading voices in Israel promoting Jewish pluralism. Hess is a member of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, the Board of Trustees of Keren Hayesod and the Board of Governors of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Hess is the senior representative of MERCAZ in the National Institutions.

Yizhar Hess is a 10th generation Jerusalemite. He lives today in Modi'in with his wife Yael, a former colonel in the IDF, and their two children Achiad and Mica.

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April 19,2024 /  11 Nisan 5784