Rabbis as Mediators Program
“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 Mediator Program” aims to introduce community rabbis to the world of mediation, and specifically to the network of Community Mediation and Dialogue Centers.
The program makes mediation tools accessible to rabbis which is helpful in dealing with the conflicts within their own communities.
The “Rabbis as Mediators Program” works in collaboration with the Gishurim Program.
Community rabbis are constantly required to ‘mediate the peace’ within their communities and as a spiritual leader, is 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” aims to provide rabbis and rabbaniot with the tools and connections to ‘mediate the peace’ among individuals or collective conflicts within their communities.
The “Rabbis as Mediators Program” was founded by Mosaica deputy executive director, Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth in 2019 and Rabbi Matanya Yadid was appointed to be the program director.
The program aims to address the many questions facing community rabbis, including: what tools are at the disposal of the community rabbi to mediate conflicts? When is community rabbi required to rule on the matter and not mediate? When it is incumbent upon the rabbi to refer the conflict to professional mediation or community mediation centers or other options.
The program offers the following components for rabbis and their communities:
- Developing a model for a community rabbi as a “mediator of the peace” within the community, which is based on the support of rabbinic authorities together with professional research.
- Connecting between community rabbis to their local Community Mediation and Dialogue Center, with the support of the Gishurim Program.
- Providing Rabbis with the option of participating in courses, trainings, and professional development adapted to the needs of the community rabbi around topics pertaining to mediation and conflict resolution.
- Raising public awareness among the general public around the connection between rabbis, their communities and the world of mediation.
The “Rabbis as Mediators Program” also works together with the Gishurim Program in advancing two annual events:
- A special session dedicated to community rabbis as part of the Gishurim Program’s annual mediation conference.
- Dibur Hadash (national week of mediation and dialogue) which connects community rabbis to mediation in general and specifically to the local community mediation, and dialogue centers.
The “Rabbis as Mediators Program” works to disseminate the model through offering courses and training for community rabbis and through publishing articles on Judaism and conflict resolution.
Rabbi Matanya Yadid
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.
I hold a BA and MA in Jewish Education from Herzog Teacher’s College and am a doctoral student in Education at Cordova University in Spain. My research focuses on the religious identity formation of teenagers.
In addition to my role at Mosaica, I am a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University’s Institute for Advanced Torah Studies and supervise the doctoral students program within the Institute. In addition, I am a lecturer at Orot Israel College and oversee the Educators’ track. I have over 15 years of experience engaging in social initiatives and community building. Between 2011-2018, I founded and directed the Bnei Akiva Youth Group’s Graduates Program. I helped to establish tens of student villages and young communities and advocated for governmental regulation on the matter. In addition, I have been part of various initiatives which deal with building bridges between the various sectors within Israeli society. In this context, between 2015 – 2018, I served as the head of MAKOM, the council of ‘mission oriented’ groups and communities.
As the director of The Religious Peace Initiative (RPI), I oversee a network of ‘insider religious mediators’ advancing both religious peace and mitigating crisis-situations. I also work to connect religious leaders to the tens of ‘community mediation and dialogue centers’ throughout Israel that Mosaica’s Gishurim Program supports, through the “Rabbis as Mediators Program” and the “Sheikhs as Mediators Program.” In addition to my work at Mosaica, I am 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. I teach graduate courses on religious peacebuilding and supervises graduate students. I am also a regular lecturer for MEJDI Tours/National Geographic. My book Third-party Peacemakers in Judaism: Text, Theory, and Practice was published by Oxford University Press in Spring 2021.
I earned a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University’s Graduate Program for Conflict Management, Resolution and Negotiation, a MA in Talmud from Hebrew University, a B. Ed in Jewish Philosophy from Herzog Teachers’ College, and studied for eight years in Yeshivat Har-Etzion, during which time I received Orthodox rabbinic ordination. I served as a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution. Before joining Mosaica, I 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 (known in Israel as Dibur Hadash: Israeli Week of Mediation and Dialogue).
The Gishurim Program staff