Hidabrut is a Jewish spiritual organization whose aims are to bring Jews closer to the Jewish faith in a meaningful, intimate way. The organization is headed by Rabbi Zamir Cohen and its intentions are to accomplish this through accessible means like television, specifically the first ever Jewish Television Network, launched in 2002. It’s hoped that using media in this manner, and its popularity with the common people, will bring more awareness to the Jewish people worldwide of all aspects of Judaism. As the organization itself puts it in regards to all the mysteries of the Jewish faith awaiting those who wish to explore, “Taste it and you will experience the goodness of G-d.”
The Hidabrut television channel is on channel 97. It’s available to the public 24 hours a day via cable and satellite, with the exception of Shabbat and holidays. Viewers can expect a large range of programming for all types of Jews throughout Israel. They include talk shows, family programming, Torah classes, and programming connected to the cycle of the Jewish year and holidays.
A Geocartography survey noted that at least 264,000 homes view the Hidabrut channel every day. 28 programs can be found on the broadcast schedule every day. Over the last year, 1,715 programs in total were turned out via Hidabrut studios with 8,760 programs going over the air. The network itself is rated a 25% in niche channels.
Hidabrut also maintains a website, which is the largest Jewish website throughout the world. Through this site, people may also view the Hidabrut TV channel 24 hours a day as well as search out programs aired in the past. The website receives 2,500,000 hits a month according to Google Analytics. The average viewing time is 17 minutes. The content of the website includes: sections devoted to current events and issues, Judaism, women, spirituality, science and the Torah, children, culture, and family.
The Video On Demand section covers all of Hidabrut’s channels so people may view what they like in a constantly updated and user-friendly fashion. Hidabrut is currently working on launching websites in additional languages, so as to make unique Jewish content accessible to Jews around the world.
Hidabrut’s printed monthly magazine, with its articles in full color on glossy paper, cover a wide range of subjects related to Jewish life. “Hidabrut Oneg Shabbat” pamphlets are given out in thousands of synagogues every week so people can appreciate Torah content at weekly Shabbat tables. A virtual magazine, “Hidabrut End of the Week edition,” is emailed to subscribers numbering in the tens of thousands every Thursday. Hidabrut’s daily newsletter, plus a weekly special newsletter with Questions and Answers providing information requested from Hidabrut Rabbis, is also available.
There are Hidabrut conventions and meetings organized around Israel every week. Weekend holiday trips are organized as well, staying in hotels around Israel providing rest and recreation. The Hidabrut website’s vacation section provides up-to-date-information on scheduling of all the above.
Community needs are also focused on with Hidabrut. They include: a Torah section which focuses on the taking of Challah and in-home seminars. An IMA section which stands for Ima Matzilah Oti, a mother saving her child from abortion. There is also a section on saving captive Jewish women, a section focusing on the distribution of charity to the needy, and much more.
Hidabrut also maintains a successful matchmaking site named “Sheva Berachot," which contains over 24,000 potential matches in its databank. Over 520 couples have been married through it.
Hidabrut aims to increase its activities worldwide. Its diaspora section is currently tasked with video recording hundreds of lecturers in every language all around the world. Hidabrut’s website is currently being translated into different languages, including English, with an English Hidabrut channel in Israel. A convert is being developed to distribute Hidabrtu programming worldwide.
In the words of Hidabrut’s head, Rabbi Zamir Cohen, "Our aim is to bring Jews together, and to present Judaism the way it is. Judaism is a beautiful and non-threatening religion, but sadly, many people view it differently because they have not been exposed to the enormous positive change Judaism can make in their lives.
We never bring up Hell when we talk to our audience – we tell them about the love and security that real Judaism has to offer, not only in the next world but in this world as well. For example, let’s take eating Kosher without even talking about religion. It has been scientifically proven that those who eat Kosher are healthier than those who don’t.
This is just one example out of many in which science proves the Torah right.
We see today in the whole world that Jewish people are hungry to hear the original Judaism the way that it is. They want to learn, they want to feel connected to Judaism, and to the sources, to the core of Judaism. But what the community is asking is that the teachings of Judaism will be presented not forcefully and threateningly but rather in a warm, loving way. And so, when we present Judaism and, let's call it, put the things on the table…we do it that way without any political agenda. Judaism itself is really beautiful and pure and it guides the person to a good and happy life."
By: Anat Ghelber