Rabin Day: Cities Hold Secular-Religious Dialogue

Annual memorial for murdered PM Yitzhak Rabin often accentuates Israel's political divide - one group is trying to change that.

Hillel Fendel,

Traditional memorial events often divisive
Traditional memorial events often divisive
Flash 90

The annual commemoration of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 19 years ago tends to brings to the fore the political and cultural divisiveness commonly found in Israeli society. Sometimes under the radar, and sometimes very much above, it is strongly felt around this time of year when Rabin's murder is remembered – as one side of the political/cultural spectrum tends to openly blame the other for the tragedy.

This year, in the wake of the unity famously felt throughout the country following the summer war in Gaza, two organizations have a plan to try to change the "Rabin Day" status quo. The Education Ministry's Society and Youth Administration, together with Gesher, will hold special religious-secular meetings in 12 different cities around the country.

The meetings will deal with the topic of "Together the Tribes of Israel: Mutual Values in Israeli Society." The gatherings will be held in schools and cultural centers, with the participation of students and residents, in the following cities and towns:

Bnei Brak, Gan Yavneh, Bat Yam, Shoham, Shlomi, Kiryat Motzkin, Modiin, Oranit, Ramat Gan, Alfei Menashe, Ohr Akiva, and Beit Dagan.

Ilan G'al-Dor, director of Gesher – a Jerusalem-based organization that has essentially been leading the way for over 40 years towards national unity – said, "Israeli society now understands the importance of dialogue between those who are different. There are disagreements, but the incident [the assassination of Rabin – ed.] taught us how to deal with it and how to prevent the next murder."

Issues that will be raised at the meetings, in the form of video clips and the like, will include: Arab labor, democracy, Zionism, tradition, and more.




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