Guest Speaker Rabbi Dr. Gil Nativ:
Israel at 69 in the eyes of a 69 year old Israeli
Sunday, May 7
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
in the Mirkin Chapel
Actually, I am one year older than my country, but I sometimes feel that Israel has aged more rapidly than me, and has lost some of the enthusiasm and optimism it had in its first 20 years (1948-1967). What happened? How has the Israeli culture and lifestyle changed?
How is Israel different than the U.S. (except for size)? Which common road sign in the U.S. will never be useful in Israel? Which American nursery rhyme will never be chanted in Israeli Pre-school classes?
In which way am I a typical average Israeli, and in which way am I unique in my country?
Rabbi Dr. Gil Nativ is a third generation Israeli. He fought in the Six Day War as a paratrooper in the Old City of Jerusalem. Rabbi Nativ has a B.A. in Sociology from Haifa University. In 1969, he founded the first youth group of Congregation Or Chadash (Progressive). In 1972 he moved with his wife, Zivah, to serve as a teacher in the U.S. With the outbreak of the Yom Kippur war, Gil returned to Israel to serve in the IDF. He studied at Hebrew Union College and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1974-1977). He served as the first Rabbi of Ohel Avraham congregation and taught Talmud at the Leo Baeck High School. During these years (1979-1985) he also served as the convener of the religious court for conversions of the Israeli Council of Progressive Rabbis.
In 1985, he moved to Cincinnati and studied toward a Ph.D. in Rabbinic Literature at Hebrew Union College. In 1990 he returned to Haifa as the Head of Jewish studies at the Leo Baeck High School. Two years later he was appointed Rabbi of the Moriah Masorti congregation in Haifa. He also joined the Rabbinical Assembly and was elected its Israeli president (1996-1998). He also served for five years as a visiting lecturer in Talmud at Haifa University. Rabbi Nativ took two Sabbaticals: one year in the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and one year at the Leo Baeck College in London. In Aug. 2004 Gil returned to Israel and for 8 years served as Rabbi of Masorti congregations: Eshel Avraham and Magen Avraham.
Rabbi Nativ’s articles deal with historical analysis of Talmudic stories. His Ph.D thesis is “Formulary Numbers in Early Rabbinic Literature”. For three years 2012-2015 he served as rabbi of a Progressive Congregation in
Warsaw. Since August 2015 Rabbi Nativ has been serving as the rabbi of HaKerem (=The Vineyard) Masorti congregation in Karmiel
Rabbi Nativ has two hobbies: He studies a daily page of Talmud and attends Israeli folk dancing twice a week. He and Zivah have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.