Yizhar Hess, CEO of the Masorti Movement in Israel, will give the d'var Torah and teach a session on "The State of the Jews and the Jewish State: Jewish Pluralism and Kotel Prayer Accessibility".
Yizhar Hess is a 10th generation Jerusalemite. Following his military service, Yizhar earned a BA in Political Science and Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A member of the Israeli Bar, his law degree is from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He holds an MA in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem and is working towards a PhD at Sussex University, Brighton, England.
Yizhar has a broad range of experience in Jewish communal service. After holding the Deputy Director position at the Shorashim Centre for Jewish Studies, Yizhar served as the Jewish Agency’s community shaliach to Tucson. On his return to Israel, he worked for the Jewish Agency as Director of Partnerships. In this capacity he forged links between the city regions in Israel and the Jewish communities of Washington, D.C., Rochester, NY and South Africa.
Yizhar has professional experience in advertising and journalism. He is a regular contributor to the Israeli press on the subjects of religion and state and is the co-editor of the book, Questions About God, published by Ma’ariv in 1998. He is known as one of the leading voices in Israel promoting Jewish Pluralism and represents the Masorti-Conservative Movement in the negotiations with the Israeli government regarding egalitarian prayer at the Kotel.
Yizhar lives in Modi'in with his wife Yael, a colonel in the IDF, and their two children Achiad and Mikah.