Hitkashrut was founded as a non-profit organization 15 years ago
Hitkashrut was founded as a non-profit organization 15 years ago, with the aim of helping families where one partner's religious beliefs changed – either becoming observant or ceasing observance. The organization was founded by Ami and Avital Baram, following their own personal crisis as a result of Ami becoming observant.
Each year, hundreds of couples turn to us with their own struggles, stemming from the religious gap between the partners.
- According to a survey we ordered, conducted by the Midgam company, in 2020 there were some 45,000 families in Israel with a religious gap between the spouses.
- According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2016, 20.6% of the Israeli population said they had become more religious, while 13% said they had become less religious.
When a married individual chooses to make a change regarding religiosity, this can create a crisis of trust in the family. The newly observant or newly unobservant partner finds it difficult to adopt his or her new lifestyle without undermining sensitive and critical foundations of the family, including schooling and education, laws of marital purity, dietary restrictions, Sabbath observance, relationships with relatives, social changes, financial issues and more.
A married couple that undergoes a crisis following one partner's change in religious observance or belief can experience feelings of victimhood, betrayal, anger, deceit, loss of control and mistrust. Additionally, the change can put a strain on children's mental health, especially if they are part of a highly charged struggle between partners. This grave crisis often ends in divorce, stemming from the couple's lack of knowledge and tools to deal with the situation.
Throughout our years of experience, we have helped over 1,000 families, with whom we maintain contact and continue to accompany. We host community meetings and events throughout the year, provide guidance and assistance, and serve as a warm, understanding and inviting home for these couples.
Most of the couples find us through the internet (Facebook or our website) or through friends. We also work with a number of cities; for example, Modiin's welfare department hired our services in order to help families with religiously-complicated circumstances.
Sometimes the families we help are not financially well off, and we aid them with a support fund, in order to save them from divorce.
Hitkashrut has founded and currently accompanies communities in a number of locations across Israel, including Modiin, Tel Aviv, Pardes Hana, Rosh Ha'ayin and Haifa.
We operate in a variety of areas (both individually and in a group setting):
- Workshops for mixed couples
- Workshops for teenaged children living in mixed families
- Workshops for parents whose children have become observant
- Workshops for parents whose children have ceased observance
- Managing mixed communities throughout Israel
- Managing support groups and post-workshop groups
- Providing guidance to newly-observant individuals on how to make their process balanced and responsible
- Providing guidance to newly-unobservant individuals on how to make their process balanced and responsible
- Creating public discourse and working to make changes in awareness among key sectors of the population that have difficulty accepting complexity, such as chief rabbis, specific communities, religious leaders and more.