Archive by Author

Celebrating Sukkot in Israel



Sukkot is celebrated in Israel in many of the same ways we celebrate it here in the United States. The Sukkah is built, the lulav is shaken, meals are shared and communities spend time together. See how the Reform congregations in Israel are celebrating the holiday this year!

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Volunteering for Coexistence



Long before Israel gained independence, the city of Jaffa was a bustling port. Today, it swarms with multi-national populations, whose tenuous coexistence is constantly on the brink of conflict. The ones who suffer most from this situation are the weaker populations – the children, the youth and the elderly. The participants in the IMPJ pre-army […]

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Don’t Talk to Me in Arabic



This is an excerpt from a recent op-ed by Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, published in Yedioth Ahronot on August 2nd. I recently received an explanation from the service manager of an El-Al flight regarding the PR system on the airplane. A list alongside the control […]

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Greetings from Rabbi Gilad Kariv



by Rabbi Gilad Kariv Earlier this month, over a million Israeli Muslim citizens celebrated Eid el-Fitr – the holiday that ends the month-long Fast of Ramadan. At the same time, we began our month of mercy and forgiveness, and with it, the many preparations prior to the New Year. In less than one month’s time, […]

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The New Tisha B’Av



By Rabbi Stacey Blank What can Tisha B’Av mean today? Tisha B’Av is not a day ordained by G-d in the Torah, but rather it is an observance that was created by people in reaction to an event: The destruction of the First Temple.  This was a tragic and traumatic time for the Jewish people […]

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Embracing Differences on the Front Lines



By Adam Ross He was waiting for one of his commanders to pick him up. I was waiting to go to sleep. Yet another 3 hour shift of guard duty, but this time I was assigned to the back entrance to the base, which leads to the firing ranges. I don’t mind that spot so […]

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Reform Olim Making a Difference



By Laura Ben David Harvey Brooks, a former congregant of Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, Arizona, is accustomed to large crowds cheering for him, but when he landed in Israel as a new Oleh on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah flight in August 2009, the welcoming crowd of singing and flag-waving guests touched him in a more […]

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Rejoicing with Miri



The following is a letter of congratulations written to Rabbi Miri Gold by Rabbi Robert Leib of Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in Abington, PA. Feel free to share your own messages to Miri in the comments below,  or on ARZA’s Facebook page! Dear Miri, On behalf of our entire congregation, most especially those who […]

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Reflections on the Beinart-Suissa Debate



By Rabbi John Rosove In my introductory remarks to the Peter Beinart-David Suissa debate at Temple Israel of Hollywood last Wednesday evening (May 16), I said the following to help give political context to what we would be hearing from each speaker: In a thoughtful piece published this past week, Professor Shaul Magid of Indiana […]

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Na’aseh V’Nishma — Let Us Do and Let Us Listen



by Rabbi Stacey Blank Last week, I was invited to speak before the “Ami-Chai” Pre-Army Preparation Course of the Zionist Council of Israel, based on Kibbutz Keramim. It is becoming more popular in Israel to delay the mandatory army service which begins at age 18 for one year and to participate in a Pre-Army Preparation […]

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What is a Zionist?



By Rabbi Stacey Blank In the midst of the modern State of Israel’s “High Holidays” – last week being Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and this Wednesday being Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) which leads right into Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day), I am considering what it means to be a Zionist or a lover of Israel, […]

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Upon Meeting Israel



By Melissa Beiser Israel was that man that my parents were trying to set me up with for years that I’ve been avoiding planning a date with. Israel is that friend that I always wanted to meet but we always seemed to move in different social circles. Israel is that remedy that all of my […]

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The Israel Upon Which I Was Raised



by Rabbi David M. Weis As Israel celebrates the 64th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence, I am celebrating my 57th birthday. I share that information, because my age tells a great deal about how Israel fits into my life and worldview. I was raised in the early years of the State of Israel. I […]

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Want to support Israel? Start here!



With Yom Ha Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) on April 26th, and the first Reform Israel Shabbat immediately following, we know that Israel is on a lot of people’s minds right now. The easiest, most basic way for a Reform Jew to support Israel and its democratic, inclusive nature is to join ARZA! By belonging to […]

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