In 2011 Yod Bet B’Heshvan, a leading Israeli moderate Orthodox organization, formed a coalition of like-minded religious and secular organizations in order to address the rising incidence of violence and incitement by Jewish religious extremists against Muslims and Christians. Today the coalition, known as Tag Meir, has grown from 15 to over 50 organizations united in the fight against extremist right-wing ideology within Jewish circles—racism, xenophobia and religious hatred—and in particular against heinous violent, sometimes deadly, acts of terrorism known as “Price Tag” (Tag Mechir) events, that are directed toward Arabs, migrant workers and refugees, or peace activists. Forum members represent a spectrum of Jewish streams—Orthodox, National-Religious, Reform, Conservative and secular—and various civil society groups, including: youth movements, students associations, educational programs, advocacy organizations and more.
(a) Interreligious activity to develop mutual trust and solidarity, in particular through ‘urgent response’ to Jewish terror attacks, including: visits affected communities, bereaved families and hospitalized injured victims and damaged sites; joint interfaith vigils and meetings; and protests.
(b) Education for pluralism and tolerance in Israel through training programs for teachers in the national-orthodox school system and workshops in educational institutions across the country.
We address in particular young Israeli Jews, who might think that Judaism actually condones the reprehensible behavior advocated and perpetrated by Jewish terrorists in the name of our faith.
(c) Lobbying and advocacy to pressure Israeli government, parliament and security services to issue clear condemnation, prosecute all perpetrators, indict extremist opinion leaders responsible for incitement, and ensure due process for all groups, including vulnerable minorities.
(d) Public education, outreach and campaigns via old and new media to raise awareness, mobilize to action and leverage public pressure on decision makers. Importantly, the coalition also targets non-Jewish audiences, who might believe that hate crimes, if not publicly opposed, are a policy of Israel and might be used as a basis for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions.
The Tag Meir forum has been recognized with several awards: the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Dror Prize for Social Change, the Gerald Cromer Memorial Prize and the Human Rights Award from the New Israel Fund-UK.
Tag Meir is managed by Yod Bet B’Heshvan (a registered non-profit/Amuta), a leading Israeli moderate Orthodox organization, working with individuals and organizations across the religious and social spectrum in Israel to implement Jewish values of openness, tolerance and respect - for others and for the rule of law. The organization serves as a watchdog of democracy and a catalyst of change, leading the way in combating extremism, incitement and violence within Jewish Israeli society and promoting inter-religious understanding.