This week, host Adam Scott Bellos sits down with Minister Amichai Chikli to talk about the current protests about judicial reform and his goals in connecting Israel to Diaspora Jewry.
The two talked about the responsibility of the Israeli government to strengthen the Jewish identity of communities outside of Israel. Weakened by assimilation and ignorance from within and antisemitism from without, education needs to be strengthened in the Diaspora communities.
‘Judaism has never been more relevant’
Chikli explains that in an age of endless information and the ability to choose everything including your gender young Jews must understand why they should want to choose their Jewish identity. “Judaism has never been more relevant,” Cjhikli added delving into what he thinks is the essence of Judaism that speaks to the current era.
Israeli vs. Diaspora Judaism
Chikli and Bellos also discuss what differentiates Judaism in Israel and America. Judaism in the Diaspora is far more into tikkun olam (“repair of the world”), and in Israel, we are far more into tikkun ha’am (“repairing the nation”). Chikli says that his background having grown up in Hanaton, a kibbutz established by American Jews from the Conservative movement, and his father being a Conservative rabbi make him uniquely skilled to connect Israel to the liberal streams of Judaism in America
Spiritual Crisis and the Current Protests
From there, Bellos and Chikli discuss the current protests for and against judicial reform. To Chikli, they represent a spiritual crisis, and protesters against judicial reform are fighting for an Israel devoid of authentic Judaism.