Rabbis as Mediators
“And the entire community agreed together, from old to young, to take a rabbi who could mediate the peace between them, love, brotherhood, and friendship.”
(Responso of Rabbi Hayim Shabtai, Thessaloniki, 17th century, Torat Hayyim, 3:32)
The Rabbis as Mediators Program provides rabbis and rabbaniot with professional mediation tools and access to a national network of community mediation and dialogue centers in order to effectively mediate and resolve conflicts within their communities.
The “Rabbis as Mediators Program” works in collaboration with the Gishurim Program.
The program offers the following services for rabbis and their communities:
- Designing a model for a community rabbi to function as a “mediator of the peace” within their specific community, based on the support of rabbinic authorities and professional research.
- Connecting community rabbis to their local Community Mediation and Dialogue Center, with the support of the Gishurim Program.
- Providing rabbis the option to participate in courses, trainings, and professional development adapted to meet the particular demands of community rabbis and the conflicts they are called upon to mediate.
- Raising public awareness regarding the important link between rabbis, their communities, and the world of mediation.
Community rabbis are constantly required to “mediate the peace” within their communities. As spiritual leaders, they are often required to make decisions, negotiate compromises, or mediate among conflicting parties. Indeed, a central aspect of their work focuses on constantly dealing with interpersonal, family, neighborly, or communal conflicts.
The “Rabbis as Mediators Program” was founded in 2019 by Mosaica deputy executive director, Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth; Rabbi Matanya Yadid serves as the program director.
The program addresses many questions facing community rabbis, including: what tools are at the disposal of the community rabbi to mediate conflicts; when a community rabbi is required to rule on a matter rather than mediate; when it is incumbent upon a rabbi to refer a conflict to professional mediation, community mediation centers, or other alternatives.
The Rabbis as Mediators Program works to disseminate this model by offering courses and training for community rabbis, and publishing articles on conflict resolution in Judaism.
The Rabbis as Mediators Program also works together with the Gishurim Program to advance two annual events:
- A special session dedicated to community rabbis as part of the Gishurim Program’s annual mediation conference.
- Dibur Hadash: the National Week of Mediation and Dialogue) which connects community rabbis to mediation in general and specifically to local community mediation and dialogue centers
Research on Rabbis, Mediation, Judaism, and Conflict Resolution:
Roth, Daniel, Third-Party Peacemakers in Judaism: Text, Theory, and Practice, NY, New York, Oxford University Press, 2021.
Kaminsky, Howard, Fundamentals of Jewish Conflict Resolution: Traditional Jewish Perspectives on Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts, Brighton MA, Academic Studies Press, 2017.
Rabbi Matanya Yadid (b. 1979) is the co-director of Mosaica’s Religious Mediation Initiative, which seeks to connect influential religious and political leaders throughout the Middle East through ‘religious mediation’ towards religious peace.
Rabbi Matanya is also the founder and director of the new Sifra Center for Education, Community, and Governance. The Center engages influential young rabbinic leaders educators, as well as the most senior religious leaders in Israel and throughout the Jewish world.
Rabbi Yadid also has served as a senior rabbi at Bar-Ilan University’s Institute for Advanced Torah Studies and supervises the religious doctoral student’s program within the Institute; he is also a lecturer at religious Orot Israel College and oversees the Educators’ track. In addition, his popular on-line Talmudic classes are followed throughout the Jewish world. In addition to his rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Yadid holds a BA and MA in Jewish Education from Herzog Teacher’s College and is currently a doctoral student in Education at Cordova University in Spain.
Rabbi Yadid possesses many years of experience in social initiatives and community building. He helped establish and manage the graduate program of the religious Bnei Akiva youth group and helping to establish dozens of student villages and young communities. In addition, he was part of various initiatives dealing with building bridges between the various sectors of Israeli society. In this framework he served as chair of Makom, the council of “mission-oriented” groups and communities.
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth is the director of Mosaica, an Israeli NGO advancing community mediation and dialogue in Israel. Much of Roth’s work focuses on the network of insider religious mediators who help prevent, mitigate, and mediate crisis situations throughout Israel, the Middle East, and beyond. Roth also works to connect religious leaders to the roughly 90 community mediation and dialogue centers and initiatives throughout Israel, including 30 in the Arab sector and 16 in mixed Jewish-Arab cities and areas, which Mosaica professionally supports through a tender of the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs called the Gishurim Project.
Dr. Roth is a core faculty member at Bar-Ilan University’s Graduate Program for Conflict Management, Resolution and Negotiation and at Tel Aviv University’s International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, where he teaches graduate courses on crisis management, religious conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. Roth is also a core faculty member of Shakla vaTariya, the institute for negotiation and crisis management based in Herzliya. Roth is also a regular lecturer for MEJDI Tours/National Geographic. He has published several academic articles on conflict resolution in the Jewish tradition and on insider religious mediation in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. His book, Third-Party Peacemakers in Judaism: Text Theory and Practice, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021.
Formerly, Roth was the founder and director of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution; the Mahloket Matters Projects; and the 9Adar: Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict, which continues today as Dibur Hadash: the Israeli Week of Mediation and Dialogue. Roth was a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.
Roth holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University’s Graduate Program for Conflict Management, Resolution, and Negotiation; an MA in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; a B.Ed in Jewish Philosophy from Herzog Teachers’ College; and studied for eight years at Yeshivat Har Etzion during which time he received Orthodox rabbinic ordination. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.
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