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Empowering Rabbis

Rabbis are playing a central role comforting, teaching, and supporting Jews in both Israel and North America since October 7 as they experience pain, grief, and fear.

Many are seeking spiritual support, guidance, and leadership to navigate the new realities facing Israel and Jewish communities around the world. As a longstanding, trusted convener and educator of clergy, the Shalom Hartman Institute is supporting hundreds of rabbis from across denominations with resources and ideas so that they can guide their communities through this crisis.  

  • Rabbanut Yisraelit, our Israeli network of pluralistic rabbis, is providing direct spiritual, pastoral, and psychosocial support to hundreds of evacuees from Southern and Northern Israel, wounded soldiers, and families of hostages. Watch 3 short videos about their work.
  • During November we offered Ruach Takum, a daily virtual gathering featuring Torah, song, and words of comfort that offered spiritual and emotional support amid the chaos of the daily experience.
  • A delegation of 36 rabbis from North America traveled to Israel in late November to volunteer alongside the Hartman Israeli rabbis network, offering support and spiritual guidance to those affected by the war, meeting with Hartman faculty, and listening to testimony of survivors and families of hostages.

“You brought a palpable hug from the Jewish people abroad; you helped us step back for a moment from the intensive work, get a wider perspective through your eyes, give thanks for the incredible outpouring of volunteer activities in every sphere; you cried with us.” ~ Rabbi Sigalit Ur, Co-Leader, Israeli Rabbis Network

  • More than 400 non-Jewish clergy joined Jewish Perspectives on this Moment, a special virtual session led by Rabbis Tamar Elad-Appelbaum (Jerusalem) and Justus Baird (New York), and Mijal Bitton (New York), to learn how they can connect to and support local Jewish communities in this time of war.
  • The Institute is providing much-needed space for rabbis to reflect and support one another. We are gathering groups of rabbis virtually and in-person to be together, pray together, and discuss the challenges they face in supporting their communities. More than 150 rabbis have joined online seminars on topics including Jewish peoplehood, solidarity in a time of crisis, and ethics of war.
  • Early in the war, more than 300 North American rabbis and 80 Israeli rabbis signed a plea to free the Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
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