The Tzohar rabbinical organization has come under fire on social media recently over their “Tikkun Leil Shavuot,” an annual event in which Tzohar hosts Jewish learning throughout the night during the festival of Shavuot.
The event, which will take place at the “Tzavta” cultural and arts center in Tel Aviv, will involve both religious and secular speakers to encourage Jews from all walks of life to take part in Torah study. However, those criticizing the group allege that Tzohar – excluded the Reform and the Conservative movements, by deliberately not inviting their representatives to the night of learning.
The left-wing activists attacking Tzohar are encouraging those who agreed to participate or speak at the event to cancel their attendance until those in charge of the night include the non-Orthodox.
Dr. Tomer Persico, a lecturer on Comparative Religion in Tel-Aviv University and at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem – who did not participate in the Zohar’s night of learning last year – took to his Facebook page to publicize his reason for not attending:
“Tzohar is a private organization, and they are allowed to invite who they want to their events. However, the event claims to form ‘a mosaic of the Israeli Jew under the want of bringing together, in order to show the beauty of the entire spectrum.’ But, when 7% of Israelis identify themselves as part of the Reform or Conservative movements, their exclusion from the event gives a clear message: you are not part of the Israeli mosaic.”
The Tzohar organization responded by saying “the Tzohar organization has coordinated the 'Tikkun Leil Shavuot' for many years in order to reach tens of thousands of people across the country. The events successfully connect all the people of Israel, secular and religious, women and men to have discussions on select and central issues that pertain to the life of the Jew in every generation.
"The rabbis of the organization and important members of Israeli society from all factions, successfully debate issues together in critical subjects that can only happen because of those who come to hear, to agree, and to argue.
"We regret that there are those who choose to hurt that very unity even though they are welcome to the event and would be able to contribute to our discussions."