Israel Current Events Program

The Israel Current Events Program (ICEP) is a dynamic monthly speaker and discussion series examining important aspects of Israeli current events and how they impact Israeli and the wider world. The meetings begin with a short presentation by an invited speaker, usually an Israeli, followed by Q&A and a group discussion. Topics are chosen based on timely and pressing issues facing Israel.

The meetings are drop-in and no pre-registration is necessary.

Upcoming Events                             

Sunday, March 17
The Upcoming Israel Elections; Readying for April 9, presented by Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor to the Knesset House Committee; Wexner Fellow


Strategizing leading up to the elections -

  • Why does the elections date come as a surprise almost every time?
  • What is the electoral threshold and does it affect the number of parties participating in the elections?
  • Where does the money come from? Can individuals or organizations “buy” parties or candidates?
  • How do parties select their representatives? Does it matter where in Israel a candidate lives?
  • Are there restrictions on parties or candidates that wish to be on the ballot?

Arrival of election day and the ballot -

  • Who is eligible to vote? Who can vote overseas?
  • Are convicted felons allowed to vote? Can they be elected?
  • Whether Israelis tend to vote for parties or for prime minister candidates?
  • Can candidates participate in the elections if they have dual-citizenship?
  • What is on the ballot on election day?

Post-election government -

  • What happens after the elections – who forms the government? Are the ministers also elected?
  • Will there be surprises when the new 21st Knesset is inaugurated according to the latest polls?


Arbel Astrachan

Arbel is currently a student at the Harvard Kennedy School (MC/MPA, A Wexner Fellow). For the past 20 years she has worked at the legal department of the Knesset, recently as the legal advisor of the Knesset House Committee. Arbel is not politically affiliated but works closely with all parties and Knesset Members. She was born and raised in Haifa, moved to Jerusalem to study law at the Hebrew University (LL.B. and LL.M.)


Sunday, April 28, 11:30 am
Bagels & Conversation: Thinking about Israel with Rabbi Bob Orkand, TBE Member

This hour long conversation will center around current issues facing Israel. The discussion will be fluid and flexible, so come prepared to discuss anything on your mind.

Learn more:  Robin Goldenson, [email protected] or Paul Zorfass, [email protected]



Become a member of the TBE’s Israel Connection Team. The mission is to  ensure that the State of Israel becomes an integral part of the fabric of the Temple Beth Elohim Community. We support programs that will broaden and deepen congregants' overall knowledge and commitment to Israel based upon the values of Reform Judaism.