YOUR Meeting With PM Netanyahu and President Peres
Whenever I walk into my apartment in Jerusalem, I feel a sense of shleimut (wholeness or completeness) that I can’t feel anywhere else. I landed in Israel this afternoon, where the weather is perfect and it always feels like home. I’ll be here until July 3rd, making it back to my other home (that’d be New York) just in time to celebrate Independence Day on American soil.
I have big plans for this trip to Israel, my first since officially assuming the presidency of the Union for Reform Judaism earlier this month. On the docket: spending time with members from the Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), the umbrella organization of all the Reform communities and institutions in Israel; speaking on a panel at The Israeli Presidential Conference on the challenge of being Jewish in the Diaspora; visiting with several of Israel’s Reform congregations; speaking with the Reform Movement’s Tikkun Olam program for college graduates in Jaffa, as well as a Kesher Birthright Israel group and NFTY in Israel staff; participating in the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors meeting; and meeting with Israeli journalists and thought leaders.
All of these people, organizations, and congregations are essential to the vitality and strength of Reform Judaism. Perhaps the pièce de résistance of this trip, though, are the meetings I’ve just confirmed with Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. At these meetings, I will have the incredible opportunity to personally convey to Israel’s most influential political leaders the support, thoughts, and concerns of the North American Reform Jewish community.
This is where you come in: In my first meetings with PM Netanyahu and President Peres as the leader of the Reform Movement, I want to be sure I’m communicating the issues that matter most to our community. I’m asking you to submit your questions to these two leaders here. When you do so, you may also choose to receive weekly updates from the URJ on important resources and news pertaining to the Reform Movement, including regular updates on politics, news, and other stories out of Israel.
Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee I’ll have the time or opportunity to ask each and every question submitted, nor will I be able to respond to each of you individually. I can, however, promise that I’ll carefully consider the submitted questions in order to ensure that my conversations with Israel’s top leadership are representative of the feelings and views of North American Reform Jewry. I can also promise to relay the high points of my conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres to you on this blog in my next update. I’m sure there will be much to tell!
I feel incredibly honored to lead our Movement at this exciting and changing time. I look forward to working not just for you but with you to ensure that Reform Judaism grows and thrives, both at home and abroad.