(Miami, FL) August 7, 2009 – In 2008 and 2009, Targum Shlishi has helped support an innovative program that encourages the spiritual engagement of Israel’s top security leadership as a way of creating a defense community capable of self-reflection from a value-based orientation, rooted in Jewish sources and traditions.
The program was developed and implemented by Kolot at the government’s request. The initiative builds on Kolot’s extensive experience of leadership education and its approach, which illuminates the historic link and contemporary relevance between Jewish values and successful leadership practice.
Members of the security and defense communities encounter continual challenges, including physical, emotional, and moral demands. The program’s objective is to integrate a spiritual and ethical component into the daily operations of Israel’s security community through an educational experience based on the Jewish ethics and values that have traditionally helped inform the collective identity of the Jewish people. The year-long curriculum explores issues such as the limits of power, responsibilities of the ruling majority, the ethics of taking a life, and healing after loss.
“Wars and conflict challenge the military, the Israeli public, and world Jewry in fundamental ways,” says Aryeh Rubin, founder and director of Targum Shlishi. “The Kolot program is premised on the idea that there is a link between military resilience and spiritual recovery, that the military must undergo a process of introspection, and that there is a need for Israel’s key security professionals and military officers to reclaim the Jewish values and ethics that are their legacy. Israel already has the most ethical and moral army in the world. The program has the potential to enhance those qualities even more.”
Targum Shlishi’s support was used to help create the program’s curriculum and to fund ten four-hour sessions. Kolot’s program has been well received and there is a demand to continue the program with several military and security leadership departments.
Kolot (“voices” in Hebrew) was founded in 1997 and is committed to promoting social responsibility through Jewish learning. The organization teaches Jewish values, ethics, and Torah to Jews of all backgrounds. Central to Kolot’s philosophy is the belief that the humanistic messages of Jewish teachings provide a powerful voice of reason and integrity in today’s world of questionable and declining values, enabling Israelis to claim their Jewish past as their Jewish future. Kolot’s Lay Leadership Program is an intensive two-year Jewish text study for influential leaders in various fields. Its full-time Tehuda program is geared to creating a cadre of professional Jewish leaders, knowledgeable in the field of Jewish studies. For more information, go to www.kolot.info.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi, a Raquel and Aryeh Rubin Foundation, is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.