Community, Culture, Identity
Atid Bamidbar organizes a rich variety of community and cultural events throughout the year, some with local and regional partners. These include pluralistic, family-oriented Jewish and Israeli holiday celebrations, Shabbat gatherings featuring baqashot (prayers and supplications) sung according to Moroccan Jewish tradition, and plenty of food for thought: study series focused on Jewish heritage in relation to Israeli society, panel discussions regarding current events, and the launching of books concerned with pressing social issues.
Atid Bamidbar’s monthly Tisch Svivati adapts an originally Hasidic tradition by devoting the Sabbath’s third meal (Seudah Shlishit) to examination of environmental issues from Jewish perspectives and of Jewish sources with an environmental approach. We launched this initiative in 2013–14, before the previous shmita (Israeli sabbatical) year—and nine years later, it’s still going strong.
Atid Bamidbar initiated Yeroham’s first Piyut (para-liturgical song and poetry) Festival in 2008 and remains an active member of the Steering Committee. Now called Paamei Midbar (Desert Bells), the festival promotes young performers, especially from the Negev, gives a stage to new interpretations of traditional music and new blendings of musical styles, and highlights women’s active participation in this formerly predominantly male cultural expression. The event takes place annually during Chol HaMoed Succot.
Celebrating Together – Jewish & Israeli Holidays
Atid Bamidbar believes that communities create culture that strengthens identity—which in turn strengthens community. Often together with local partners, we organize Jewish and Israeli holiday events that attract a diverse crowd including people from Yeroham and the region who wouldn't feel comfortable in a synagogue, and those who might feel comfortable but prefer to celebrate as a family seated together.
For 2022–23, we have planned Zoom and hybrid study sessions aimed at understanding outstanding religious thinkers relevant to our times, among them: Jerusalem-born Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880–1953), Polish-born American rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972), Italian rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (1707–1746), and French rabbi Yehuda Léon Ashkenazi (Manitou) (1922–1996).