A few months ago Rabbi David Stav, the 53-year-old founder and president of Tzohar, a rabbinic organization that strives to make the face of traditional Judaism more appealing to Israelis, was seen as the Don Quixote candidate in the upcoming national Chief Rabbinate election, held once a decade.
Charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a Solomonic solution to the growing controversy over women’s prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, Natan Sharansky, the chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, is prepared to recommend a bold plan to allow any and all Jews to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
During a recent interview in my office with Mark Borovitz and Harriet Rossetto, the guiding lights of Beit T’Shuvah: The House of Return, a unique community in Los Angeles that combines spiritual and psychotherapeutic approaches to addiction recovery, I became increasingly impressed with their work and their own life stories.
I was relieved and not at all disappointed last month when neither of the Israeli entries for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards came home with the prize. I felt badly that the two films representing Israel, “The Gatekeepers” and “5 Broken Cameras,” cinematically compelling as they were, took aim at the country’s alleged faults rather than its miraculous accomplishments, sending a skewed message around the world.