Machanaim is a word from book of Book of Genesis (32:3) meaning "two camps".
It is also a name of organization dealing with spiritual absorption of Jewish people from the former USSR in Israel. The organization produced many books, classes, especially for conversion. Main proponent of Religious Zionism amongst the Russian speaking Jews. Machanaim began behind the iron curtain in '79, in Moscow during Brezhnev stagnation, as a group of young people who gathered to study Jewish history and tradition and pass on this knowledge to their fellow Jews. Over time it developed into an organized underground network for studying Torah, philosophy, and Jewish law. Almost all the group members were refuseniks. Classes were sometimes interrupted by KGB. In 1987 most of the Machanaim activists received permission to emigrate to Israel. There they set two main goals: to work with new immigrants and to provide assistance in Jewish education for those Jews still in the CIS. The movement's work and its goals spawned the name Machanaim, a term from the Book of Genesis meaning "two camps": Jerusalem and Moscow. Since Glasnost Russian speaking Jews are spread all over the world, and therefore, this World Wide Web site affords Machanaim great potential toward realizing its goals. Currently Machanaim's main projects include book publishing, teaching Judaism via the media, running a synagogue and other activities in Ma'aleh Adumim. Machanaim founders are Dr. Zeev Dashevsky, Dr. Pinchas Polonsky, Dr. Michael Kara-Ivanov.
Machanaim is also the name of a popular game played at Jewish camps and schools. It is sometimes spelled Machanayim.
- Machanaim online
- From Russia with faith, Dan Izenberg, Jerusalem Post, 17.10.1997
- "Machanaim: The search for a spiritual revival of Judaism among Russian Jews" by Miriam Kitrossky, Michael Kara-Ivanov and Pinchas Polonsky in "Conversations. Orthodoxy and Diversity", issue 7, spring 2010/5770, pp. 54–65