The eighth Jerusalem Conference, Israel's leading annual Torah-Zionist-spirited event sponsored by Besheva Magazine, will take place next week at the Dan Jerusalem Hotel on March 15th and 16th (the 9th and 10th of Adar Bet). Nine sessions will deal with various aspects of the interaction between Judaism, the State of Israel, and the modern world.
Among the featured speakers will be Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Tzfat and Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Beracha, both of whom gained fame in Israel this year due to public struggles which they led. Rav Eliyahu has spearheaded rabbinical activity against the Arab takeover of Jewish neighborhoods, and Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Beracha took a firm stand against IDF involvement in the demolition of Jewish communities, refusing to back down despite retribution by the Defense Ministry.
This Jerusalem Conference will be different from previous ones, according to organizer David Saada, who is also the managing director of Besheva. "There were years in which the Conference turned its gaze outward, but this time we will be focusing on looking inward, into our sector," he explained.
The annual Jerusalem Prize will be given to Rav Israel Rosen of the Tzomet Institute, Dr. Yoram Liwer, CEO of Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital, Rabbi Nahum Neria of the Torah BeTzion Yeshiva, Vadim Rabinowitz for his contribution to the rebuilding of the Hurva Synagogue, and Haggai Laniado, who runs Karmei Ha'Ir, a charity for the needy in Jerusalem.
As always, policy shapers and thinkers from the fields of security, diplomacy, economics, the academic world and the media will be prominently featured, alongside rabbinical figures. Participants will include Rav Yuval Cherlow, Education Minister Gidon Saar, MK Michael Ben-Ari, MK Uri Orbach, Internet Rimon Director Kobi Haker - and entrepreneur Rami Levy, whose intercession appears to have saved a new Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood from falling into the hands of a Palestinian Authority mogul who would have Arabized it.
"The Jerusalem Conference was - and will always remain - loyal to the conservation and promotion of Jewish tradition and values and to the future of the State of Israel, as a leading, modern, democratic and Jewish state," the organizers stated.