What is the 9Adar Project?
The 9Adar Project seeks to cultivate the culture of constructive conflict and healthy disagreement across personal, political, religious and other divides. The project does this through promoting public awareness around the annual Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict as well as collaborating with and supporting the Pardes Rodef Communities Program, the Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program and Dibur Hadash: Israeli Week of Constructive Conflict.
The 9Adar Project is a project of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution, part of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.
What Happened on the 9th of Adar?
On the 9th of the Hebrew month of Adar, approximately 2,000 years ago, the initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between two dominant Jewish schools of thought, Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, turned destructive over a vote on 18 ideologically charged legal matters, leading, according to some sources, to the death of 3,000 students. The day was said to be as tragic as the day the golden calf was created. It was later declared a fast day, however it was never observed as such (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, Laws of Fasts 580). To learn more, check out the 9Adar Study Guides.
In addition, on the 9th of Adar, February 13, 1992, mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution were officially introduced into Israeli Law (see page 69).
Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict
In 2013, the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution declared the 9th of Adar as the Jewish Day of Constructive Conflict. In 2016, 9Adar was expanded to become the 9Adar Project: Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict.
The Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict is dedicated to increasing public awareness around the values and skills of constructive conflict as well as awareness of organizations that work to promote these values and skills year round. It is commemorated annually the week of the 9th of Adar Aleph when there is leap year and the Sunday to Saturday between Tu B’Shvat and Rosh Chodesh Adar in non-leap years. We also support schools and organizations that choose to observe the Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict closer to the 9th of Adar. We deem meaningful participation as more important than the actual date, and this flexibility recognizes the difficulties in scheduling 9Adar activities so close to Purim.
For programming ideas and support, schools are encouraged to work with the Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program while synagogues and organizations are encouraged to work with the Pardes Rodef Shalom Communities Program. College campuses can work directly with Hillel International. Israeli organizations should turn to Dibur Hadash: Israeli Week of Constructive Conflict which is targeted to all sectors of Israeli society.
Dibur Hadash: Israeli Week of Constructive Conflict
In Israel, The 9Adar Project is known as Dibur Hadash: Israeli Week of Constructive Conflict and seeks to reach beyond the Jewish community to promote the shared values of constructive conflict both within and between different religious and cultural identities. So far, there are over 35 Israeli NGOs promoting the project throughout all sectors of Israeli society including community mediation and dialogue centers, intra-faith and inter-faith programs. The project is a joint initiative of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution and Mosaica: the Center for Conflict Resolution Through Agreement.
What is Constructive Conflict?
Constructive conflict means advocating for one’s needs and opinions while taking into consideration the opposing needs and opinions of others. Conflicts turn destructive when one side attempts to advance their needs or opinions without acknowledging opposing needs and opinions.
In Jewish tradition, constructive conflict is known as mahloket l’shem shamayim (disagreements for the sake of Heaven). It includes arguing the issues while respecting and maintaining good relationships with the other side, making sure that one’s personal motivation is to come to the best solution and not just to ‘win’, at times admitting to being wrong and acknowledging that sometimes both sides might be right. Click here to learn more here.
In designing a logo for 9Adar, we aimed to capture the essence and imagination of what a week dedicated to constructive conflict would mean.
The image is a combination of two contrasting colors, with blue on the top representing the sky and heaven, and green on the bottom representing the land and earth. The colors seamlessly flow into one another, forming a combined bluish-green in the middle. This may represent how conflicting sides in a mahloket l’shem shamayim may have very different starting places, yet also be able to share many areas in common, thereby combining their perspectives.
The two symmetrical shapes symbolize both a 9 and the Hebrew letter ט right side up and upside down, representing how an image may be seen in opposite ways depending on one’s perspective.