Study Program for Haredi Leaders 2016
The following is an update on CPS’s Study Program for Haredi Leaders, which launched in January 2016 as part of the ongoing dialogue between CPS and Haredi society. The participants are opinion leaders including editors, senior journalists and key political advisors from the various Haredi communities:
- January 17 - Event with Lieutenant General (ret.) Benny Gantz (Herzliya): Keynote speaker former Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant General (Ret.) Benny Gantz reviewed Israel’s security approach in light of the geostrategic changes in the Middle East and responded to questions from the audience.
- February 14 - Tour of the area around the Gaza Strip: The participants visited the freight crossing at Kerem Shalom and Erez, the “Black Arrow” vantage point, and Netiv Ha’asara; met with Alon Schuster, head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council; and were briefed by IDF officers. Colonel (Ret.) Shaul Arieli, a CPS board member, led the tour and provided explanations and commentary about the history of the Gaza Strip, past negotiations and agreements on its borders, and current challenges relating to this area.
- March 6 - Tour of the Rabin Center: Participants visited the Israel Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center. Meetings followed with Elias Zananiri, the vice-chairperson of the PLO committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society; CPS board member Brigadier General (res.) Udi Dekel, Deputy of INSS; and with senior Arab Affairs analyst at Israel’s Channel Two, Ehud Ya’ari.
- May 23-24 - Two-day tour of the Negev, Jordan Valley, and West Bank: The first day of the tour focused on national challenges concerning the Bedouin communities in the south of the country. The participants met with Dr. Muhammad a-Nabari, head of Al-Hura Local Council. They also visited Hura a-Sanabel, a socioeconomic project led by Bedouin women that provides 8,000 hot meals a day for children in educational institutions in and around Hura. Lastly, they toured the unrecognized village of Um al-Hiran and met the head of the local committee. The second day of the tour focused on the reality and the future of the West Bank. CPS board member Colonel (ret.) Shaul Arieli briefed the participants at an observation point over the Jordan Valley. Later the group toured the new Palestinian city of Rawabi and met its developer and founder, Bishar al-Masri. The last item on the schedule was a meeting with Avi Roeh, head of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, at the settlement of Shilo.
Below are a few of the participants' reactions:
- We learned a lot… it helps us in public discourse and it is important as part of formulating positions.
- It was important and useful… I was exposed to groups and individuals I would not otherwise have had an opportunity to meet and to listen to… Now we can formulate positions based on knowledge rather than theory.
- It was informative and mind broadening… I learned that I do not know everything… I am sure that I will take these impressions with me for a long time to come.
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