Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Role of Israeli Rabbis: Reaching the "Secular Capital" of Israel

Rabbi Konstantyn immigrated from America and founded a local synagogue in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, where "everyone is welcomed".
By Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 8/1/2011, 3:14 AM

Tel Aviv International Synagogue
Tel Aviv International Synagogue
Tel Aviv International Synagogue

Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn is the founder and Rabbi of the Tel Aviv International Synagogue - Congregation Beit El.

Arutz Sheva TV spoke with Rabbi Konstantyn about his unique role as a Rabbi in the city which is considered by many as the "secular capital of Israel", although in recent years there has been a concerted effort to bring young, religious couples to the city.

Yeshivat Tel Aviv, for example, was founded in 1996 by 20 graduates of the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and is led by Rabbi Chaim Gantz. It is located near Ichilov hospital and now has over 130 students, has brought over 70 young national religious families to the area, become a vital part of the community, offering outreach programs and special programs for soldiers from the nearby Kirya IDF compound.

There is much thirst for Judaism here, explains Rabbi Konstantyn. "At the synagogue, we offer a place where anyone can come and connect into a synagogue without being judged."

The Tel Aviv Synagogue was founded to provide a spiritual home for Jews of all backgrounds in an environment of warmth, acceptance and mutual respect.

Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn, formerly of The Hampton Synagogue, NY, has led the synagogue to offer a vast array of innovative educational, cultural and social programs, engaging lessons and inspirational services.

A community-oriented synagogue such as the Tel Aviv International Synagogue is a concept that, while natural to Western Jewry, did not exist until fairly recently in Israel, where synagogues were seen as a place to pray and have Torah study groups after prayers. The role of the synagogue rabbi is changing as the idea takes root.

Arutz Sheva TV met Rabbi Konstantyn at the 4th annual Tzohar International Rabbinic Conference in Jerusalem.

Email readers: click HERE and scroll down to view video.