Here are a few things your congregation can do now to support Black and Brown people both within the Jewish community and beyond, both directly and on a systemic level.
Related Blog Posts on Israel, Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Israeli History, Jewish History, Jewish Values, and Reform Movement in Israel
Last week, we traveled together to Israel and the Palestinian territories with a remarkable group of Black civil rights leaders and Reform Jewish leaders, including those who sit at the intersection of being Black and Jewish. We imagined that there would likely be bumps along the way, and there were. However, our group knew one another from our ongoing social justice and racial equity work in the United States, so there was a reservoir of goodwill and commonality that served us well.
In meetings with the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, and Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, we discussed the crisis in Ukraine, the future of the Kotel, ensuring more funding and rights for non-Orthodox Jews, combatting racism, and stopping extremist violence against Palestinians, in addition to other pressing issues.
We joined Women of the Wall (WoW) for what were supposed to be services celebrated at the Kotel, the Western Wall. Unfortunately, rather than an experience in entry to sacred space, our students experienced what it means to be denied entry to sacred space.
The URJ is the largest Zionist organization in North America and after two years of COVID-19, a new government, and a growing Israeli Reform Movement, Israel needs us now more than ever. Israel needs our voices, our involvement, and our support. Infusing your congregation with an Israel commitment through an ARZA membership is a meaningful way to directly support the Jewish State.
On Tu Bishvat we celebrated trees and a season of new growth. I've been doing lots of thinking about trees, as I frequently do, and the role they play in providing oxygen for the planet. At the Union of Reform Judaism, we provide oxygen to our communities by creating compassionate spaces for our participants to grow and thrive. We can respond to current and future challenges by fostering resilience that reflect our Jewish values.
On Sunday, Israel’s Knesset narrowly voted in Israel’s 36th government with Naftali Bennett as the nation’s 13th prime minister, unseating the incumbant Benjamin Netanyahu.
After four rounds of elections and over three years of uncertainty, we are close to the establishment of an Israeli government. The potential unity government is made up of many disparate parties from across the ideological spectrum.
Reform movement leaders dissect the questions and responses from the Pew Report on Jewish Americans.
The current wave of violence in Israel and Gaza is a heartbreaking human tragedy. The loss of innocent life (including that of children) rends the heart, destruction of homes and endemic fear defy the peace and security in which every human being deserves to live.