Megilla BeKehilla
Megilla BeKehillaPR

A joint initiative of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization and Ohr Torah Stone's "Yachad" Program will bring Megillah readings and Purim activities to over 500 locations throughout Israel this year.

As part of their mandate to make Jewish holidays and lifecycle events accessible to the traditional and secular community in Israel, Tzohar and Ohr Torah Stone have increased the number of locations where “Megilla BaKehilla” Purim celebrations will take place this year. Bringing together Israeli Jews of all backgrounds and ages, the readings are scheduled to take place primarily in public spaces such as community centers or school gyms rather than synagogues, making the atmosphere a more open and welcoming for everyone. The program is in memory of Dr. Arye (Leon) Kronitz z"l.

“Purim is a holiday that inspires the participation of Israeli Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance – especially the children,” said Rabbi David Stav, Chairman of Tzohar and Co-Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone. “We invite everyone to join together with us to celebrate Purim; to celebrate and take pride in our Jewish traditions and heritage in a welcoming and accepting environment.

Participants receive a Megillah and take part in interactive explanations of the story and the holiday experience. “This wasn’t just a typical megillah reading,” said Noam Klein of Tel Aviv who attended last year. “The content and atmosphere made it so much more for us and our children.”

"Megilla BaKehilla very literally means to read the scroll of Esther in the community," said Ohr Torah Stone President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Kenneth Brander. "Judaism belongs to all of us and must be accessible to every Jew. If people decide not to go to synagogue, for whatever reason, then we'll bring their Jewish heritage to them in a welcoming, non-threatening environment - wherever they may be."

Tzohar and Ohr Torah Stone’s “Together For the Holiday” programs have been growing consistently over the years, making Jewish holiday traditions accessible to all Jews in Israel and infusing the holidays with meaningful, Jewish content. Additional events for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Shavuot are hosted in cultural centers, public parks and even fire stations across Israel, staffed by hundreds of volunteers with the goal of empowering the secular population in Israel to connect to our traditions and take pride in our heritage.