The Leha'ir Panim* project was created to counter the lack of dialogue among Israeli Jews, inspired by the MUN – Model United Nations. Leha'ir Panim seeks to promote Jewish solidarity by creating foundations for unique discourse, in the spirit of the Rabbinic saying:
"Do not judge your fellow until you are in his place" (Pirkei Avot, 2: 4)
"אל תדין את חברך עד שתגיע למקומו" (משנה אבות ב, ד)
Participants in the project are subsequently representing not themselves, but the opinions of the 'other', including Conservative, Secular, Ultra-orthodox/Haredi, Religious Zionist /Modern Orthodox, Reform or 'Masorti-Mizrahi'/Traditional.
The project was founded by Nadav Berman Shifman, and was possible thanks to the support of the Hillel institute in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and especially its director Heli Tabibi, and its enterprise coordinator Sigal Steinberg.
The pilot convention that took place at Hillel was participated by 18 youths of the various Jewish denominations (including Haredi), who were divided into two committees dealing with The status of Women, and Judaism and Democracy.
The specific issues discussed were
Whether women should hold a rabbinic position?
Should there be public transportation on Shabbat?
The participants took part in a preparatory Seminar, in which they studied sources by scholars and rabbis from the six aforementioned streams about their Jewish vision in general, and specifically on the issues dealt with by the convention. The participants were then handed their mission – which stream they would be representing – and had a few weeks to form their presentation.
The convention itself, held on 3.7.2012, began with negotiating sessions, during which the participants explained 'their' opinion. Later on, they had 'Lobby Time', in which they had to try and convince their fellows to accept their opinion. Finally, the committee gathered and democratically voted on which resolution would serve the basis of the final statement .
The purpose of this website is to accumulate and present the framework and of the convention, in order to enable and encourage future Leha'ir Panim conventions. what is your Leha'ir Panim version? feel free to contact us.