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SPICE: One Short Document, One Long Debate: Israeli Declaration of Independence and the Ongoing Debate Over Israeli Core Values

Past Sessions
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 12 Tishrei 5784 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 5 Tishrei 5784 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 27 Elul 5783 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Wednesday, September 6, 2023 20 Elul 5783 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$48 ($60 non-member)

The importance of a declaration of independence for culture and society is well known. The importance of the Declaration of Independence for the State of Israel is much more significant and existential. The Declaration has even greater significant legal importance to a state which does not have a constitution. The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel also has significant importance to Jews around the world. The Declaration was written under enormous political and military pressure. This document declared the fulfillment of the dream of the Jewish People against all odds. The Document is short, but its modern liberal values are underongoing attack during the last decade. The debate about its ties with the Jewish religion is older than its ink. Its morals and meaning for the identity of Israelis are in constant tension. In this mini course, we will take a look behind the scenes at the historical moment of the Declaration of Independence in 1948 as well as its impact on Israel today. We will read, watch and discuss the narrative of the declaration. We will dive deeper into the ‘beauty and the beast’ of this document and why it matters more than ever.

Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi, according to rumor, is a descendent of King David. Although, without red hair or any other proof, you can find his creative liturgy in various reform prayer books and his children are all named after the dynasty. Ofer has a graduate degree in Talmud and Jewish Education. He served as a rabbi in Congregation “Shir-Chadash” outside of Jerusalem. Rabbi Ofer co-developed the “Aspaklaria” methodology of using the arts for Jewish education and community building. He curated numerous art exhibits in Israel and is a beloved teacher in congregations around the world. You can learn more about him and with him on his website:

Registration Information:
All SPICE courses must be registered for and paid for in their entirety. SPICE fees are per head, not per household, with a 50% off fee for second registrants within the same household. A minimum of 15 enrollees per course are required in order to hold the course. If a course must be cancelled, those registered will be notified and a SPICE credit will be issued.

Reservations may be made via email to or by telephone to Sherri Bell, SPICE Chair at 410-303-2483. Payment may be made in one of three ways:

1. Check Mail it to Sherri Bell 1 Clifton Court Pikesville, MD 21208 Your check should be made payable to Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation with SPICE and the course name written on the memo line.

2. Credit card Please note that the synagogue charges a 3.1% credit card use convenience fee.

3. Bill your synagogue account Members only.

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Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784