Tzion: An Eretz Yisraeli Community in Jerusalem

Tzion is a community of Israeli Jews of all backgrounds, beliefs, customs, and practices Together we re-dream Jerusalem through social justice, interfaith work in the public sphere, prayer, and study.

Location: Jerusalem , n/a
Year founded: 2013

Description

“Let’sTry.” 

These were the words that gave birth to the community Tzion in 2013. A group of friends were inspired to pray in a way that acknowledges and celebrates the diverse Jewish traditions that exist in Jerusalem. The community soon expanded beyond the space available in Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum's living room and has continued to grow and evolve ever since.  Now with 200 members, Tzion aspires to create together an Eretz Yisraeli Judaism immersed in the study of Torah, repairing the world and prayer.  We honor Ashkenazi, Sepharadi, and Mizrachi traditions that makeup the diverse and rich Jewish culture in Israel.  We are passionate about building a new language in Jerusalem that believes that all people spanning religions, generations, and religious denominations have a future in a shared Israeli society.  

Below are our specific passions and categories in which we are looking for partnerships.  Become a partner in the dreaming and creation of a reality.   Come as you are.

Re-Dream Jerusalem With Us:

Building a Welcoming Egalitarian Community

Tzion is a vibrant growing community that provides the opportunity for many Jerusalemites to pray and celebrate Judaism in a way that feels authentic to them, oftentimes for the first time of their lives.  Our motto to come as you are invites growth in the realm of prayer, study, and social justice while being surrounded by others who are doing the same.  Men and women, Orthodox and secular, Reform and Conservative, Sepharadi and Ashkenazi are all welcome to participate and lead in an egalitarian community.

Bridging Faiths in the Public Sphere 

Tzion's innovative and unique line of interfaith prayers in Jerusalem's public sphere brings clergy and lay-people of different faiths together.  Using the relationships that we foster through our study and volunteer programs, we are in a unique position to launch successful public events.   For two years hundreds of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Jerusalemites spanning generational and religious spectrums have gathered at the popular First Train Station for Chanukah, and Jerusalem Day.  We take the difficult realities of Jerusalem as a starting point to envision what Jerusalem can be.  Additionally, we partner with Muslim and Christian communities in Jerusalem in social justice projects and learning opportunities.

Innovating Social Justice Projects

Tzion sees its responsibility to become a meeting point for the different populations of Jerusalem and enable them to meet and learn from each other like Lone Soldiers, ultra-Orthodox Haredi women, asylum seekers, and more. Additionally, we are using the shmita year as inspiration to create the first-ever interfaith food and clothing exchange Jerusalem.

Comprehensive Community Education 

Tzion's comprehensive community education program is rooted in our core values of building and ensuring a more-pluralistic Jerusalem based on community service, study, and respect.  Our five different programs provide the opportunity for community members to study and engage in tikkun olam together.  Each program caters to different ages and needs, including the first egalitarian Eretz-Yisraeli inclusion bar/bat-mitzvah program in Israel to allow for students with elevated needs to prepare for their special day alongside other kids in Jerusalem.  This year will also see expansion in our growth and development of our community education with the opening of our first ever youth group for grades 3-12 and of our Beit Midrash Program.

Creating an Israeli Language of Prayer

The unique Eretz-Yisraeli prayer of Zion provides the opportunity for Jerusalemites to pray and celebrate Judaism in a way that feels authentic to them, oftentimes for the first time of their lives.  Our prayer and music model combines ancient and contemporary Israeli, Ashkenazi, and Sefaradi, musical traditions to bring together the many voices of Jerusalem.  We use our own siddur which honors all of these traditions and includes texts written by members of our community.  Our holistic prayer and music approach ensures that all of our traditions are celebrated throughout the year, including on holidays and in children's prayer.  In addition, Zion's Kabbalat Shabbat CD will provide us the unprecedented opportunity to teach Eretz-Yisraeli prayer beyond Jerusalem and make our program saclable around the world.

No grants received yet

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