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Resources and Articles by Matt Plen


Plen, Matt

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Matt Plen grew up in London before making aliyah to Jerusalem in 1998. Since then he has completed a master's degree in Jewish Studies at the Schechter Institute (Jewish Theological Seminary) and has undergone teacher training at Kerem, the Institute for Humanist Jewish Education. Matt is active in the field of Jewish education and has worked and taught in a number of frameworks: Noam - the Israeli Conservative youth movement, the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad, Netzer - Reform Zionist Youth, the Education Department of the Jewish Agency, Young Judaea and Ta Shma. Matt is currently a faculty member at Melitz - the Centers for Jewish Zionist Education, and teaches history and Bible at the Masorti secondary school in Jerusalem.

Sarbanut in a Jewish-Democratic State :  Refusal to Serve
On January 3, 2005, a reserve unit of the Israel Defence Force was called in to evacuate two illegally installed caravans at the outpost of Givat Shalhevet in Samaria. The soldiers and police officers were met by hundreds of settlers who, throwing up a roadblock, attempted to prevent the unit from entering the outpost. Rocks were thrown, abuse was hurled, settlers branded the soldiers ďNazis.Ē A soldier was forced to fire in the air after a group of settlers attempted to snatch his weapon. In the aftermath of the clash, residents of nearby Yitzhar demanded that the IDF remove an army outpost which houses soldiers protecting the settlement. The army acceded to the demand. [Full article...]
Israel > Politics
Media and the Press
Peace Process > Terrorism
Peace Process > The Palestinians
People > 1948-Today: Modern Zionist Age

A critical analysis of Netanyahu's economic reform:  Privatization vs. Welfare State: Israel's Economic Crisis
Binyamin Netanyahu, Israelís finance minister, believes that Israelís economy is not just sick Ė itís bleeding to death. Dire circumstances require immediate action. Only when the bleeding has been staunched can doctors take steps to restore the patient to long-term health. [Full article...]
Israel > Politics

Israel and the Diaspora:  Connection in Crisis
In the first of a two-parter, Matt Plen looks at the strained relationship between the Diaspora and Israel, and wonders what led to this situation. Referring to diverse sources ranging from the Talmud, Ahad Ha'am and the New Statesman, he suggests that we should relate to one another in a different way. [Full article...]
Judaism > Jewish Identity
Zionism > Zionism and the Diaspora

Social Problems in the Promised Land:  A Light to the Nations? Social Justice in Israel
This trenchant article explores the burning issues in the tense social fabric of Israeli society: officially sanctioned prostitution, the ever-increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, real wage inequality between men and women, and the badly-defined status of Israelís indigenous minorities. Matt Plenn invites us to take a no-holds-barred look at contemporary society in Israel, exploring how these issues impact on the founding ideology of the Jewish state, and its promise of equality. [Full article...]
Israel > Israeli Arabs
Zionism > Zionism Revisited