On Monday 7th December, Forward Thinking convened an online workshop between a group of prominent Israeli national religious Rabbis and Rabbanot and expert speakers on Bosnia and Herzegovina. The meeting introduced Bosnia’s history, its post conflict state framework as well as its diverse religious communities. National religious leaders were able to explore how ethno-religious communities mitigate contemporary tensions between one and another and the state through compromise and dialogue.
In February 2020, the group travelled to the Netherlands with Forward Thinking to explore the Dutch state-religion model and the relationships between secular, Christians, Jewish and emerging minority Muslim communities. The group subsequently expressed a desire to explore a majority Muslim democratic country and the Bosnian state-religion model was identified as having an important role. These discussions will help contribute to ongoing group reflections as to how they may reconcile their own legitimate theological beliefs with that of other constituencies, both religious and non-religious, in Israel. They also seek ideas from other contexts which can help them think through options to overcome the tensions between Israel’s ‘Jewish’ and ‘Democratic’ nature. These conversations are important in helping the national religious leaders to reflect on their own context and theological approaches towards contentious aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.