With rumors that the conversion issues are again on the table, as the hold on the Rotem Bill ends, we at ARZA know that each of you will want to take action. (Learn about the Reform Movement’s past efforts to defeat the Rotem Bill on the URJ website). The time is not ripe for press releases and a massive letter writing campaign, though ARZA will tell you when it is! It is time to speak from our love of Israel. We hope you will help us to engage people’s hearts and souls, as we move towards deepening support of an Israel that we embrace, and embraces us all. In order to increase advocacy in our congregations, we’re collecting personal prayers for Israel that might elevate awareness and inspire action.
Please post your prayers for Israel in the comment section below. ARZA will collect them and share many of your heartfelt sentiments with our extended family in Israel and the United States.
I will hear Parshat D’varim on Shabbat and Lamentations on Tuesday in Jerusalem. I am here to participate in the effort to stop the Rotem Conversion Bill from passing in the Knesset. How ironic it is that the bill was voted out of committee on the first of Av and will be brought for first reading just after Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av), the fast day on which the Jewish world commemorates the loss of the two ancient Temples. One of the reasons our ancient Rabbis gave for their destruction was sinat chinam – the internal arguing of one Jew with another.
Rabbi David Saperstein and I are in Israel to represent our Reform Movement organizations that are working alongside the Conservative Movement, the Federations of North America and the Jewish Agency for Israel to stop the Conversion legislation. Our joint efforts have involved the URJ, ARZA, CCAR, WUPJ, WRJ, MRJ, and of course, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and its Israel Religious Action Center.