The Tzavta theater in Tel Aviv and the moderate Zionist Orthodox Tzohar rabbinical association announced yesterday that Conservative and Reform rabbis will, after all, be part of their planned all-night Shavuot study at the theater.
Above: The head of Tzohar Rabbi David Stav
Tzohar Reluctantly Gives Into Heavy Pressure, Allows Non-Orthodox Rabbis To Teach At Shavuot Event
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Tzavta theater in Tel Aviv and the moderate Zionist Orthodox Tzohar rabbinical association announced yesterday that Conservative and Reform rabbis will, after all, be part of their planned all-night Shavuot study at the theater, Ha’aretz reported.
The announcement was made after the two organizations were sharply criticized by politicians from the left and center and by non-Orthodox Jewish movements after the theater reneged under pressure from Tzohar on a promise made last year to the non-Orthodox movements to include Conservative and Reform rabbis in future Shavuot all night Torah study events.
But the reform and Conservative rabbis will speak at a special session during the event and Tzohar’s rabbis, who do not recognize non-Orthodox rabbis as rabbis, will reportedly not be present at that time.
Tzavta described the non-Orthodox session as running parallel to its main session, rather than it being a part of it.
“[The non-Orthodox session] will take place alongside the Tikkun Leil Shavuot held with the participation of Tzohar rabbis, as part of the events on the holiday eve,” it said in a statement yesterday.
The pressure on Tzavta and Tzohar was high, with some high profile speakers upset with the ban on non-Orthodox rabbis – including members of Knesset – canceling their speeches.
“I know how hard it was for the Tzohar rabbis to agree to this compromise. The negotiation was indeed exhausting, punctilious and inglorious, but the agreed-on solution would not have come into the world if not for the huge wave of public condemnation,” Yizhar Hess, an attorney who heads the Masorati (Conservative) Movement in Israel reportedly said.
Last year, at least 1,500 people from all walks of life, from Orthodox to completely secular, attended the event.