Reform Pilgrimage to Israel

As Israel approaches her 50th anniversary, we Reform Jews remain utterly and unequivocally committed to the survival of a strong, secure Jewish State. We are also reminded that Israel was created, in part, to bring about a moral and spiritual renaissance for the entire Jewish people.

Today, however, we look at the Orthodox control of religious life in Israel with deep distress. Our concern for the spiritual essence of the Jewish State compels us to make our first priority the pursuit of religious freedom

Israel is the precious possession of all Jews, and we repudiate the efforts of all who would deny us our rightful place in our people's homeland. Together with other organizations committed to democracy and religious pluralism, we must work for an end to politicized, monopolistic religion in the Jewish State. The government must support all Jewish religious movements in Israel, or none at all.

As we urge the Israeli government to join in partnership with Jews of all denominations, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen the Reform Jewish Movement in Israel, and to educate the Israeli public about the theory and practice of Progressive Judaism.

We Reform Jews will not turn our backs on Israel, nor will we retreat from the battle for equal rights and religious freedom. As a sign of our determination to remain engaged in this struggle, we intend to bring hundreds of North American Reform Jews to Israel next June with the goal of promoting religious freedom in Israel, demonstrating our commitment to the spiritual renewal of the Jewish State and reaffirming our love for the land and people.

THEREFORE, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to encourage the leadership of our congregations to join with the UAHC Board of Trustees on a sacred pilgrimage to Israel in June, 1998 to meet with government leaders, to make our voice heard by the Israeli public and to worship openly in any sites holy to our people.