Avi Dabush is the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights and a survivor of the October 7 attack on Kibbutz Nirim. Fiercely committed to the survival of Israeli democracy and to a Jewish state that is moral and upholds the essential tenets of the Jewish tradition, Dabush has been posting daily since October 7 and will share what he sees as the possibility for the day after.

The Israel at 76 series is generously sponsored by Helena Diamant Glass, in cherished memory of her beloved parents, Regina Landwirth Diamant and Karl Diamant, and in honor of Yom Ha’atzma-ut 5784.

headshot of Avi DabushAvi Dabush was born in Ashkelon, in Southern Israel, to a religious Mizrahi family. Avi’s social and political activism has been far reaching and prolonged, beginning with a successful campaign in his hometown to prevent the construction of a power plant. In his early 20s, Avi founded and led a school for children with autism, reflecting his dedication to inclusive education and support for marginalized communities.

Over the past two decades, Avi has been a driving force in various social organizations and movements, including the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev, which advocates for a sustained political agreement between Israel and Gaza.

Currently pursuing rabbinical studies at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Avi continues to
integrate his Jewish values with his passion for social activism. His dedication to human
rights was recognized when he was awarded the New Israel Fund UK’s human rights prize in 2021, underscoring his significant contributions to the field.

In addition to his social activism, Avi is active in the political arena and was a candidate for the Meretz political party in the 2017 national elections. Avi is a regular columnist for several Israeli news outlets across the political spectrum.

On October 7, 2023, Avi survived Hamas’ terror attack at his home in Kibbutz Nirim; he and his family are currently displaced persons in temporary accommodation. Avi has become a leading voice in advocating for the return of the hostages, and continues his call for human rights and peace across the region.

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) is the only rabbinic movement in Israel explicitly dedicated to promoting human rights in Israel & the Occupied Territories. RHR is active in three main areas—work within and about the Occupied Territories; work to promote social and economic justice within Israel; and activities in the fields of education and interreligious dialogue.

From the outbreak of war, Rabbis for Human Rights has been calling for a ceasefire and the return of the hostages. The organization is vocal in its condemnation of violence and settler attacks while also acting on the ground, providing humanitarian aid and protective presence to Palestinian communities living under Occupation.

RHR’s Rabbinical network of over 150 Israeli rabbis has been instrumental in forging interfaith partnerships, and amplifying shared messages of peace and justice. In a time of heightened tensions and violence, Rabbis for Human Rights continues to serve as a beacon of hope, striving to uphold Jewish principles of compassion, justice, and equality.