Beit Midrash Elul was established in 1989 as a pioneer of the modern Jewish-Israeli beit midrash. Elul’s founders envisioned the renewal of Jewish studies in the spirit of the Talmudic precept, “Elu Ve’Elu (these and those) are the words of the living God.”
This statement, which is the basis of Elul's worldview, encourages a plurality of opinions and a culture of debate based on mutual respect. We are building a bridge of connection, hope, thoughtful dialogue, and trust among different sectors of the Jewish people.
Jews from all over the world came to Israel in the miraculous ingathering of the exiles. There are major gaps among them in tradition, beliefs, Jewish identity and worldviews. Over the years, the gaps deepened into disputes, and with them came separation, lack of understanding, and loss of a common language. Elul sees this as a danger to the partnership on which the country was founded. We are aiming to strengthen Israel’s Jewish and democratic culture and to increase love for the people of Israel.
At Elul we use the model of the beit midrash to promote dialogue with the Jewish sources and dialogue among people, to explore our Jewish identity in its many facets and to turn the traditional way of studying Jewish sources into a common foundation and source of inspiration. We study in facilitated small groups which promote the participants’ personal connection to the sources, leading to the creation of a new "personal midrash."
Encounter. Engage. Create.
At Elul, learning is centered around shared exploration of the spiritual treasures of the Jewish-Israeli canon and dynamic engagement with the wisdom, imagination, ethics, and great literature of Jewish scholars across the generations. Learning facilitates encounter and discourse among religious, traditional, and secular Israelis, people from the political left and right, men and women, adults and teens from diverse communities, perspectives and lifestyles. Engagement calls for new, personal interpretation of Jewish sources, which leads to creation, both artistic creation such as writing, music and dance, and the creation of social, educational or cultural initiatives.