We cannot do our work alone!
Israel's National Institutions
The North American Reform Movement's 2017 Appeal for the Israeli Reform Movement
We are celebrating 69 years of Israel’s Independence.
Today, as we look back at all of Israel’s achievements, accolades, and accomplishments, we can feel a great sense of pride.
Israel is a tremendous success story. And our Reform community has helped build a vibrant country and rich Jewish society with great contributions to our own People and to the world.
And there’s still more work to do. The Reform Movement in Israel is working tirelessly not only to build our Movement, but to influence and change Israeli society for the betterment of all.
Unfortunately, we see a rising tide of anti-Reform rhetoric and activity in Israel, from hateful comments by Members of the Knesset to bills restricting Reform practice and blocking our right to pray as we choose at the Kotel, the Western Wall.
During the night of November 23, 2016, Kehilat Ra'anan, the Reform congregation in the town of Ra'anana, Israel was vandalized with vicious anti-Reform graffiti and vulgar death threats directed at the leadership of the Israeli and North American Reform Movements.
This despicable backlash is occurring precisely because the Reform Movement is growing bigger and stronger. We offer a joyous Jewish alternative to Israelis, many of whom are tired of the strictures of the stale and controlling Chief Rabbinate.
Most congregational rabbis in North America perform a few dozen Bar and Bat Mitzvahs each year. At Kehilat Ra'anan, however, Rabbis Danny Meir and Chen Tzafoni performed more than 250 ceremonies in 2016! Their B'nai Mitzvah students come from all backgrounds: secular and Masorti (Conservative Movement), rich and poor, immigrant and sabra (native). They come seeking a Judaism unfettered by the Chief Rabbinate’s insistence on a single, extreme, exclusionary path.
Despite facing discrimination from State authorities and hateful acts of intimidation, Kehilat Ra'anan brings Jews from all backgrounds together to celebrate progressive visions of Judaism and Israel. And now, more than ever, the work they and the 45 other Reform congregations do, is vital for Israeli society.
Our Israeli colleagues can't do this alone. With no possibility of government support, the Israeli Reform Movement needs your help. Every Reform minyan in a small Negev town, every Arab-Jewish friendship kindled by their Meeting Neighbors program, and every dollar of Reform Movement support for families displaced by disaster comes from people like you.
50 years after the Six Day War, Israeli society is far from perfect. But with your help, we can keep dreaming, keep building, and keep bringing all our People together. A Jewish State that respects the rights of all Jews is not a dream if we continue to build it together.