What is Hidabrut?
Hidabrut :The World’s Largest Jewish Network
In 2002, the Hidabrut organization, headed by Rabbi Zamir Cohen has launched the first Jewish Television Network of its kind. The organization’s mission is to use the media as a way to create awareness among the Jewish people with regard to all aspects of Judaism, in an effort to encourage them to reconnect with their Father in Heaven. The organization’s approach aims to unravel the mysteries of the Jewish faith in a pleasant and simple manner, as it says: “Taste it and you will experience the goodness of G-d”.
By using this platform, Hidabrut is able to break in to the most hostile environments and reach out to the most remote Kibbutzim across the land of Israel.
In the last few years, Hidabrut has taken a giant leap forward, both in the level of programming it offers and in the advanced quality of equipment being used to deliver those programs.
Furthermore, the web content, which was later introduced, allows Hidabrut to extend itself even farther and reach out to all corners of the world.
With a large variety of workshops and live events, Hidabrut attracts and empowers vast audiences from all sectors of the Israeli population. It does not however, neglect the poor and the elderly, as it offers a helping hand to those groups as well through soup kitchen initiatives and other charitable drives.
Additionally, Hidabrut integrates the various communities within the Israeli population and stands together with them in solidarity like in the case of Operation Protective Edge, where Hidabrut has played a major role in lifting the morale of all the soldiers fighting on the frontlines.
The Hidabrut organization also recognizes the various needs and difficulties among the different socioeconomic groups in the country and has therefore instituted special departments in recent years that focus on the prevention of intermarriage and abortion.
Chairman: Rabbi Zamir Cohen
Managing Director: Rabbi Isaac Fried
CEO: Rabbi David Tufik
Spiritual Director and Senior Lecturer: Rabbi Yeshaya Wind
1.The Hidabrut Television Network
The television channel (channel 97) is delivered via cable and satellite and is open to the public, 24 hours a day, except on Shabbat and holidays.
The network broadcasts a wide range of programs for all sectors of the Jewish population in Israel. These programs include talk shows, lectures, programs for families and children, Torah classes, as well as programs relating to the cycle of the Jewish year and so on.
According to the latest Geocartography survey:
264,000 homes are exposed to the Hidabrut channel every day. The daily broadcast schedule includes 28 programs. During the course of the past year, 1,715
programs were produced in the Hidabrut studios and 8,760 programs were aired. The network has a 25% rating in niche channels.
The Hidabrut studios had begun their work with the launching of the Hidabrut channel. In the last year, the studios took a giant step forward, training new crews and acquiring more advanced equipment, in an effort to drive the network to greater heights.
2.The Hidabrut English Network
Much work is currently underway in preparing the English network for full operation. This groundwork is currently being done in special studios in Jerusalem designated specifically for this purpose.
Additionally, most of the Hebrew website content has been translated into English, bringing in hundreds of thousands of hits per month. We are currently developing our collection of movies and videos in English in preparation for the great kickoff.
Rabbi Elie Lemmel – a senior lecturer in France, launched this department in November 2014. There are three people working full time in the department; an editor in chief and two other editors who handle materials in Hebrew and English as well.
In the past year, the department has managed to collect materials, translate lectures and discussions by Rabbis, speakers, and authors, both in video and article formats in order to prepare for our big launch: The French Hidabrut Website.
The flagship project is the “Daf Yomi”. It will be delivered in a way that’s never been seen before in French, providing lectures to those who are interested in the study of Gemara on a personalized level.
4.The Hidabrut Website
The Hidabrut website employs four full time content writers, three editors, one technical support and optimization expert, and several other employees who work on various languages. In July 2015, the website received a brand new facelift.
The organization owns and operates a content website in a modern network compatible with cell phones, that is automatically updated online as it uploads rich and diverse content in all areas of Jewish culture.
In addition, the site supports the channel and allows the viewer to watch programs from the Hidabrut channel, 24 hours a day and browse through previously aired programs.
According to Google Analytics, the site receives 1,500,000 hits a month (an increase of one million hits within a year!).
5.The Sheva Brachot Dating Site
This site was launched about three years ago in order to provide an alternative solution to the less trustworthy forums in this area. Our system is clean and free. The site is fully managed by a professional matchmaker who navigates through the various proposals with rabbinical guidance and supervision. All activity on this site is carried out with great emphasis on religious values and modesty.
Since the launching of the site, we’ve had the honor to participate at hundreds of weddings.
6.The Weekly and Daily Digital Newsletter
Hidabrut creates and sends a weekly newsletter via email to over 70,000 subscribers.
The newsletter includes sections and articles on current topics of interest, Jewish law, as well as ‘samplers’ from the Hidabrut web content.
This department was established in 2003 and is now operated by 12 staff members.
Its mission is to offer preliminary answers to questions concerning all areas of Judaism to anyone who initiates contact with the organization. The department provides the following services: Advice, support and guidance to families and individuals without discrimination. It provides material on every topic of Judaism, referral to rabbis, advisors and experts in various areas, answers to questions concerning Jewish law, Jewish outlook, and all other Jewish matters. This service is available to all - families and individuals alike – without discrimination against any group or individual.
Hidabrut uses available resources from the various outreach organizations such as, ‘Arachim’, ‘Lev L’Achim’, ‘Tzohar’, ‘Kesher Yehudi’, ‘Torah V’Emunah’, ‘Ayelet HaShachar’, etc. in order to provide inquirers with the most suitable answers. The department has thus become a source for all the other Jewish outreach organizations of people interested in Judaism.
Since its inception, the department has managed to pair 15,000 women with Torah study partners. There have been over 150,000 inquiries to date in areas concerning religious support, Gemara studies, schools, learning partners, repairing broken homes, Koshering kitchens/utensils and the like.
A lack of resources is currently preventing the department from expanding and proliferating its activity in the various social platforms. However, in the past year, the department has employed a small team that surfs the endless social media networks in an effort to share its knowledge of Judaism and provide additional support and information to anyone who expresses interest.
8.Social Networking – Hidabrut
The ‘Stay Connected’ team operates across various social media networks, identifying interested individuals and providing them access to material upon request.
The department is revolutionizing this area as it makes use of social media channels to distribute Jewish content to anyone who asks for it.
9.‘Ask the Rabbi’
The rabbinical team consists of 5 rabbis and certified professionals.
The Q&A team is composed of Torah scholars and teachers available all week long, responding to hundreds of questions a day in all areas of Judaism, including Jewish law and Jewish philosophy.
The Hidabrut Q&A has made a great impact on the lives of many Jews in Israel and abroad. The types of questions being posed are vast, and the inquirers come from a wide range of groups and backgrounds – from young Israelis to senior professors and professionals. A large percentage of the people using this service follow up with additional questions that often lead them to the observance of Torah and Mitzvot.
Additionally, there are many young men and women from ultra religious backgrounds who prefer to present their toughest questions on matters concerning their faith to the rabbis of Hidabrut.
The questions that are relevant to all are then posted on the website. We currently have a database of over 25,478 questions categorized by topic;
Judaism, laws and customs, Jewish outlook, holidays and festivals, the weekly Torah portion, Shemitah, faith, interpersonal relations, women’s issues, and society.
Since its inception, over 71,000 questions have been addressed, of those, 75% were one-time questions, and 22% of them were ongoing.
10.The Hidabrut Magazine
For the past several years, the organization has been publishing a glossy colored monthly magazine delivered to subscribers by mail.
Our team of talented writers issues a monthly magazine that contains a mix of various news articles and investigative reports as well as profile and interview articles, inspirational stories of Divine intervention, Jewish psychology, and sections on education, personal empowerment as well as a section for children.
The magazine is distributed monthly to over 10,980 subscribers. In the past year, 151,200 copies have been printed.
11.The Shabbat Leaflets
The organization prints and distributes 8-page Shabbat leaflets. These leaflets are circulated throughout synagogues and various distribution centers across the country. The leaflets contain thoughts on the weekly Torah portion, sections on Jewish culture and parenting, a section for teens, as well as sections on Jewish law and family matters. There are 19,000 copies being circulated every week in 172 locations within 61 cities and communities.
The content of the leaflets is intended for people of all backgrounds who are looking to strengthen their religious observance.
12.The House of Hidabrut
Hidabrut runs workshops on various topics through a Jewish lens. The workshops are given in a personalized atmosphere. Some of the topics include: relationships, parenting, personal empowerment, and more.
13.The House of Hidabrut – Los Angeles
(seminars and events worldwide)
The four-year activity in Los Angeles led Hidabrut to the strategic decision of increasing the activities abroad in an effort to tackle the intermarriage crisis and deepen the connection of the Jewish communities around the world to the Jewish nation as a whole.
This is the strategy:
· Organizing seminars all across the US
· Operating a fully stocked book store of all Jewish content
· Distributing 10,000 monthly publications of the Hidabrut magazine to newsstands, free of charge
· Weekly distribution of the Shabbat leaflets in English to synagogues in the Los Angeles area
· Distributing CDs to newsstands featuring fascinating lectures on various topics
· Running Torah and Hebrew classes for children as well as Bar Mitzvah parties
· Forming charitable funds and Gemachs in Los Angeles
· Providing spiritual counseling to the Jewish community in Los Angeles in the areas of parenting, relationships, Jewish law and other topics in Judaism.
· Airing the Hidabrut channel in English
As a result of these activities, the US tours have been increased and a religious empowerment tour takes place at least once a month in different communities in the US.
Today, the department’s total expenditures total a million dollars a year.
14.Live Lectures and Events across Israel
This department was established in 2004 alongside the operations of the network. It is responsible for the organization of conferences, lectures, symposiums, Torah classes, and Shabbat seminars, which are all required for those who wish to strengthen their religious observance. These events draw thousands of people from all over the country every year.
The team includes three people on the field who create the schedules several months in advance. They travel across the country reinventing themselves each time with new programs, fascinating and captivating lectures that aim to draw people closer to their Father in Heaven. The team is assisted by a network of volunteers and hundreds of people from all walks of life.
In the past year, 2-4 conferences were conducted per week which hosted several hundred people. Several times a month, a larger conference is held that hosts approx. two thousand attendees. The inspiration gained after each one of these conferences empowers the team to perpetuate this to the next conference despite the many difficulties and lack of funds.
Each conference is planned out with great detail, starting with an extensive list of lecturers, delegation of staff and volunteers, to massive advertising efforts in local media channels.
In Elul of last year, the department achieved groundbreaking success by bringing Teshuvah conferences to clubs and entertainment venues such as “HaOman 17” in Jerusalem, “Avalon” in Nahariya, “Selena” in Eilat and more.
Over 912 lectures have been conducted by Hidabrut in the last year (not including conferences and lectures by other organizations who enlisted Hidabrut Rabbis),
and over 741 people have progressed in their Torah studies and observance as a result of these seminars.
15.Seminars Across Israel
Another part of Hidabrut’s mission is to advance Jewish education through live events all around the country. This is achieved by bringing top lecturers who can provide participants with new insights on life.
This mission began with the establishment of the Hidabrut organization.
Such seminars are held once every two weeks with an average of 150 participating families (3 members at least) throughout most of the year.
Overall, 30,000 people have attended these seminars to date, many of which return time and time again.
The organization subsidizes 900 NIS for each family, totaling 10,000 families a year paid for by the organization (that’s 9 million NIS).
This department was established at the beginning of 2012 by Rabbi Nir Garami who saw the need for classes on Judaism that cater to diverse audiences within the Israeli population; religious, secular, kibbutz members, and women in the arts, business and more.
The department also organizes Hafrashat Challah events all over Israel which provide an opportunity for women to learn about the mitzvah of family purity. The team collects the women’s names and passes them on to the “Mitchabrot” department that works on this area with great success.
This department has five members on its team. In the last year, over 100 house parties have been organized per month. Each house party hosts about 30 women, maintaining an intimate environment that provides a comfortable setting for heartfelt discussions to take place with great success.
17.Shabbat in the Community
In 2013, the Chairman of Hidabrut, Rabbi Zamir Cohen called for the establishment of this department. The idea is to bring a rabbi from Hidabrut who specializes in giving Torah classes and leading Shabbat prayer services in communities and synagogues across the country in an effort to give the members of the community an uplifting spiritual experience and show them the light of Shabbat on a much higher level.
This initiative provides an outlet for traditional as well as religious Jews who work all week long and only have time on Shabbat to engage in spiritual matters. Unlike lectures or conferences that are limited to a small number of hours, the Shabbat program provides more time for people to benefit throughout the entire Shabbat period.
The department handles the assignment of experienced Rabbis to the various communities. Some of these Rabbis include: Rabbi Emanuel Mizrachi, Rabbi Mordechai Levy, Rabbi Reuven Zakhaim, Rabbi Shai Amar, Rabbi Shmuel Elzam and more.
The enthusiastic participants of these programs refer to this as a ‘mini seminar’; a tremendous spiritual experience that comes with a great deal of gratitude. "Instead of getting us to go to a seminar, you bring the seminar to us" they say.
As a result of these Shabbat programs, many connections form between the Rabbis and the communities, as they continue to provide these communities with continuous support and guidance.
Hidabrut initiates an advertising campaign in the community that it is going to for Shabbat. This attracts a diverse group of people and encourages them to attend the synagogue. Services begin with the Friday night prayers and songs led by the rabbi, this is followed by “Noam Shabbat” which creates a second wave of unified prayers. Once the prayers are concluded, the rabbi delivers a few words of Torah in a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere. The next day, the rabbi returns to lead the Shabbat prayers and invites participants to return after the Shabbat meal to study together until the third meal. In many cases, the rabbi’s wife gives classes for women as well. After the Mincha prayer, everyone joins together for the third meal as the rabbi sweeps everyone away with holy melodies, giving the participants an elated experience – one in which they can truly feel the sanctity of Shabbat.
Oftentimes, the rabbis who run these programs relate stories of people who come from the outskirts of the city just to partake in this uplifting Shabbat experience.
The department maintains contact with synagogue directors and volunteers all over the country, from Kiryat Shmonah to Eilat, who work together with Hidabrut to bring this Shabbat program to their communities so that their members can have a taste of Shabbat on a different level.
Participation in the Shabbat program is free of charge and all expenses are paid by Hidabrut.
Throughout the year, Shabbat programs are conducted on a weekly basis and sometimes a number of them take place simultaneously.
The total cost of this program is half a million Shekel per year.
18.Family Purity Project – ‘Mitchabrot’
This department operates in Jerusalem and was created in 2010 following requests made by field workers who had to deal with this subject on a number of occasions.
The department employs 20 paid staff members and a network of 40 volunteers, providing answers (under the leadership of expert rabbis) to questions on family purity arising from the secular population. The staff includes experienced and professional instructors who provide guidance in the areas of marriage in general and family purity in particular, with absolute discretion. The team includes volunteers who identify unaffiliated women that can use this service in places such as seminars, hospitals, and holy sites. In addition, the department has a technical team that delivers materials, CDs and other relevant content from door to door.
In 2013, 4,853 women had immersed in the mikveh, and in 2014, 173 children were conceived in purity. Hundreds of families had come closer to Judaism and Torah as a result of this mitzvah. Dozens of children have attended religious institutions. Within the 5 years in operation, over 6,000 women have taken the path to purity, with 60 instructors working out of their home or office, walking the women through the process, step by step (20 paid staff and 40 volunteers). In 2014, 4,830 have already immersed and we’re still counting.
Hidabrut runs a department that helps and supports women considering to have an abortion. The support provided is contingent on the guidelines set forth by the relevant committee of the organization. This department employs one team member who specializes in identifying the cases that may require our services. The department also runs a network of hundreds of volunteers, including professionals in various fields to help us in our operations as needed. The department maintains constant contact with organizations specializing in this area.
The department’s budget varies, depending on the number of cases it receives.
Activity Report for 2014-2015:
700 cases came in, out of which 90%-95% successfully avoided abortion and were given support and assistance as needed.
The Imma Facebook page was launched with the statement - Hidabrut for Life which provides information on the prevention of abortions. In addition, a special section was set up on the Hidabrut website to educate and create awareness on the subject, while other content is reserved for print media such as the Hidabrut Magazine and the Shabbat leaflets.
Since the start of this department, 270 babies were born in its merit. Currently, the department continues to support and maintain multiple pregnancies in an effort to bring another pure Jewish child into the world. Additionally, about 8 movies have been produced and aired on the Hidabrut channel providing much education and guidance on this topic. These movies greatly impact the Facebook page, as well as the abortion section of the website.
Patients receive the following services: Support, advocacy, emotional/mental counseling, relationship counseling, medical counseling, housing assistance, seminary referral, financial assistance, a wide range of food and clothing assistance and more. These resources come from donations and collaborative efforts with outside organizations.
The department collaborates with the “Efrat” organization, the Knesset committee for public services in association with the Minister of Health in order to promote publicity and awareness of the rights that pregnant women are entitled to, as well as information about services that they are eligible for from organizations such as ours.
Hidabrut has been running this department since April 2014 whose mission is to help and support women wishing to return to their Jewish roots after marrying Muslims men.
The department is composed of 3 paid members, one of them specializing in networking, who identifies and directs cases that need our services.
The department utilizes a network of hundreds of volunteers including professionals in various fields to help us in our operations, as needed, including lawyers, psychologists, coaches, professional teachers, and mentors. The department held meetings with other organizations working on the same cause and formed stable working relationships with many professionals in an effort to join forces and achieve better results.
So far, assistance was provided to 160 women involved in intermarriage out of which dozens have cut all ties and left their Muslim homes or villages for good.
In the past year, the department launched a special section on the Hidabrut website that deals solely with assimilation, providing a wealth of information and content on the subject. In addition, a Facebook page was created to increase awareness to hundreds of thousands of people on this subject. Several films were made as well, concerning this painful topic. Additionally, the department provides continuous support and assistance to women who were removed from these villages. Among other things, a drama class is about to open together with singing and dance lessons, in collaboration with the actress, Keren Cohen-Moshe, in an effort to infuse these victims with confidence and personal empowerment.
This department was established in an effort to help kids and teenagers at risk.
The department consists of 2 paid employees and 15 volunteers.
This department rehabilitates and guides kids and parents by directing them to professionals such as psychologists, social workers, tutors, legal aid (when necessary) as well as summer camps and weekend getaways with lectures and more.
This project was founded by Pnina Lasham of Beitar Illit who has done this independently for two years with much success. Hidabrut recognized her success and created a special department that allowed her to break through many channels and leverage her operations many times over.
22.Hidabrut for the Community
The ‘Hidabrut for the Community’ department works tirelessly on social activities such as: providing assistance to soldiers, hospital visitations, collection and distribution of essential products to the needy, as well as other important and varied social activities.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, one out of every three families in Israel is below the poverty line, and that disturbing thought led ‘Hidabrut for the Community’ to join forces in support of those families.
This department works tirelessly on the distribution of food packages to the needy and extends practical assistance to hundreds of families around the Jewish holiday season.
The department supports and promotes social engagement, and is in partnership with business owners who opened their hearts to take part in joint endeavors for the benefit of the community.
Hidabrut supports talented artists who travel the country, going to homes and hospitals, bringing joy and happiness to sick children and the elderly, without discriminating against any group or individual.
The Hidabrut organization has decided to set up a vast network of soup kitchens in Israel. Each of these kitchens will serve as a warm place where children will receive hot meals on a daily basis as well as assistance with their homework by a team of qualified teachers.
Due to public demand, Hidabrut has set up a sales department called, ‘Hidabrut Shops’ on its website. There, you may find a large selection of products as well as Sifrei Kodesh (Jewish books) of all kinds: books by Rabbi Zamir Cohen, Rabbi Yitzchak Fanger, books on Jewish law, ethics, Shabbat, the weekly Torah portion, and more. Other Judaica products include Tefillin, Mezuzot, Megillas Esther scrolls , and Torah scrolls. Additionally, all types of Judaica products are also available: Kiddush cups, candlesticks, Challah trays and covers, shtenders, holiday products, children’s products and books, games and CDs. Additionally, electric devices for the Jewish home may be found, as well as hair coverings for women, and much more.
This department reaches out and benefits the public through its large selection of Jewish products and by allowing a wide range of people to contribute to the maintenance of the organization all at the same time. In the past two years, a significant increase in sales volume has been recorded, with 200,000 NIS to 285,000 NIS in revenue in the last few months.
This department was created to meet the great demand of the public for books, Jewish material, CDs and other printed literature, by shipping these items in a fast and efficient way to the homes of recipients.
Under the responsibility of the large postal department and personnel of Hidabrut, all mail items are shipped by the organization to recipients in Israel and abroad. All items addressed by the organization ranging from CDs and books to brochures and magazines, pass through this department, which works in cooperation with the Israel Postal Service, and with other courier services.
27.Getaways for the Ultra Orthodox Population
The goal: to get away and be inspired
The idea of creating retreats for the ultra orthodox population attracts many people as they can take a break form their routine and use this time to enrich their knowledge of Judaism. The talented lecturers of Hidabrut provide new insights on Jewish matters and share many inspirational stories from many guests who have attended and gained much benefit from these retreats.