We are a creative, innovative and inclusive Jewish-Israeli community that offers meaningful Jewish ritual, study, activism and a sense of belonging to the general Israeli public and visiting Jews worldwide.
- About Us
We believe in the power of rituals, texts, customs, music and traditions to shape and inspire our lives. We strive to create, develop and sustain a creative, indigenous Israeli Judaism relevant to modern Israeli life and in line with our core values. For us, modern prayer is a tool to build community, to propel activism, to enrich individuals and to celebrate milestones.
BTI is a multi-generational and inclusive community of committed and passionate Israelis. We have created a model for a new kind of experimental and creative Jewish-Israeli congregation, unaffiliated with any movement. A space where children can celebrate Shabbat in a uniquely Israeli way, where adults can seek answers to life’s essential questions and where men and women can celebrate their heritage together – blending the ancient and the contemporary, the universal and the particular, the Jewish and the Israeli.
We are a synagogue without walls and an open tent for all. Experiential Jewish-Israeli activities take place both in our permanent residence in Tel Aviv and in the public sphere. Our signature program is the summer Kabbalat Shabbat services on the deck opposite the sea at the Tel Aviv Port. Thousands of people come together to sing, pray, and share in a meaningful evening service, welcoming the Shabbat in an innovative, creative, and culturally Israeli way.
How it all began
In 2004, a small group of activists got together to share in a prayer service, a Kabbalat Shabbat meal, and begin to build a community. What began as a small group quickly grew to 200 people and the original group of activists knew that they had to do something more. From this, Beit Tefilah Israeli (BTI) was founded.
Esteban Gottfried and Rani Jaeger founded Beit Tefilah Israeli, with early and important support by Yoav Rosenberg, Ezri Tarazi, and the late Elisheva Greenbaum. The organization could not be where it is today without the tireless efforts of these individuals.s