Gilad Kariv (born November 30, 1973) is a Reform leader and attorney in Israel, serving as the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ).
Gilad Kariv was born and educated in Tel-Aviv. His involvement with the Reform Movement began in High School, when he joined Congregation Beit Daniel, the Center of Progressive movement in Tel-Aviv. Once completing his secondary education at the "Lady Davis" High-School, Gilad volunteered for a year of service (Shnat Shirut) in the Israeli Scouts, and worked on establishing educational "Nahal" groups.
Kariv served in the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Corps under the "Haman Talpiot" program. Following five years of service, during which he completed with honors the officers program, Kariv went to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 2001 he earned his bachelor's degree in Law and Jewish Studies. Between 2001-2002 he interned in Supreme Court of the State Attorney Office. In 2003 he received his master's degree in Jewish studies at the Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Jerusalem. In 2004 he was certified as a lawyer by the Israel Bar Association. In 2008 Kariv received a second Master's in Constitutional Law from Northwestern University in Chicago, through a combined program with Tel-Aviv University.
During his academic studies, Kariv established the Progressive movement student networks on campuses around the country. Following the economic sanctions of 2002, Kariv was one of the founding members of the Social Organizations Forum, and was active in several social initiatives, such as the single mothers protest. In 2003 Kariv was ordained at a reform teacher at the HUC. Among his posts, Kariv served as a leader at Congregation Beit Daniel in Tel Aviv until 2008.
Between 2003-2009, Kariv served as the director of the Israel Religious Action Center, and headed Reform movement public and legal initiatives in Israel on issues of freedom of religion, relation between religion and state, conversion, and many other social causes. Kariv initiated the establishment of "Keren Be'chavod" ("Be'chavod Fund) – the Reform Movement's humanitarian aid foundation, and "Kehilat Tzedek" – the training and guidance center for people of all Jewish sects in the field of social action.
In 2009, Kariv was appointed to be the executive director of the IMPJ. Since then, he has worked to expand the work of the Movement, advance its stance among the Israeli public, establish new Reform congregation around the country, and obtain government recognition of the Movement's activities.
Kariv continuously publishes opinion pieces in the news and online. He has also published several position papers on a variety of topics, including a suggestion for the reorganization of religious service provisions in Israel; a suggestion for separation of religious institutions from state bodies; Israeli public space on the Sabbath; a report on the crisis of conversion, and more. Kariv is regularly invited to represent the Reform Movement at Knesset committees, and a variety of other public settings. Between 2006 and 2009 Kariv took part in the Knesset's Judiciary committee discussions over the proposed writing of an Israeli constitution. In these meetings, Kariv represented the liberal-Zionist point of view. Together with his partners at the IMPJ, Kariv put together suggested constitutional principles for the State of Israel.
As a representative of the Reform Movement, Kariv serves as a board member at the Jewish Federation Institute for Jewish Learning, and as a board member in the "Menuchah Nechonah" (Suitable Rest) organization, which works to advance civil burials in Israel. Between 2008 and 2011 Kariv also served as a committee member at the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
Kariv ran for the 2012 Israeli Labor Party primary elections, winning 27th place on the party's list for the 2013 Knesset elections. The party won only 15 seats. In December 2014 he informed Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog he would be running for a spot on the Labor list for the 2015 elections.
Kariv helped lead the efforts to establish an egalitarian praying platform at the Western Wall, culminating with Government resolution officially recognizing the right for egalitarian prayer at the end of January 2016.
Kariv lives in Ramat-Gan with his wife and three children.
- The Labor Party Candidates for the 19th Knesset Israel Democracy Institute
- "Judy Maltz 'Head of Israel’s Reform Movement to seek place in Knesset as Labor MK: Gilad Kariv says 'heavy cloud threatens Israeli society,' Labor must present moderate, democratic alternative to current government.' Haaretz (18 Dec 2014)" http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/1.632610
- "Western Wall prayer fight ends with historic compromise" http://www.jta.org/2016/01/31/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/western-wall-prayer-fight-ends-with-historic-compromise
- A Reform rabbi in the Knesset? Gilad Kariv, head of Israeli Reform, is mulling a run - JTA, 10.24.12
- Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv on the privatization of Jewish identity and the tycoons of religion - Ha'aretz, 9.27.12
- Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (Hebrew) | (English)
- Israel Religious Action Center founded by the IMPJ