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Mining Diamonds in the Land of Milk and Honey



By Anat Hoffman Israel is not rich in natural resources: no oil ($50/barrel) or diamonds ($10,000/karat); only milk ($3.80/gallon) and honey ($10/16-ounces). This means that human resources are our biggest asset. Israeli men and women are who stand between Israel and its enemies, and who can transform dessert into fertile land. Every Israeli is essential […]

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Death of Alberto Nisman: Justice Must Not be Delayed or Denied



The World Union for Progressive Judaism issued the following statement about news of the death of Alberto Nisman: The World Union for Progressive Judaism joins the leadership of our Latin America region (WUPJ-LA) in expressing shock and horror as we learned the news of the death of Alberto Nisman, lead prosecutor in the search for […]

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Today Matters: Make It Count



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg “This is the day that the Lord has made – let us exult and rejoice on it.” -Psalms 118:24 During the years I taught Jewish history on our Movement’s NFTY-EIE high school semester abroad program, at the end of each semester I would ask my students this question: “What are the […]

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Torateinu ARZA: Unto Zion Shall Go Torah



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg  “Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly.” Pirkei Avot 1:1 Dan, the official in customs, told me to have a seat with my Torah and wait. […]

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What’s Jewish About These Laws?



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg May it be Thy will, my God and the God of my fathers, to protect me against the impudent and against impudence, from bad men and bad companions, from severe sentences and severe plaintiffs, whether a son of the covenant or not. – The personal prayer of Rabbi Y’hudah HaNasi, BT […]

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Reform Movement Expresses Concern Over Separate Bus Lines for Israeli Jewish Settlers and Palestinian Workers



Regarding recent news of separate bus lines for Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian workers in the West Bank, Rabbi Rick Jacobs,l president of the Union for Reform Judaism, today made the following statement: We are deeply concerned regarding the recent decree by Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stating that there will be separate bus lines […]

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Shaping Israel’s Soul is Up to Us



by Rabbi Bennett Miller Earlier this month, Jews the world over poured into synagogues to “afflict our souls” on the holy day of Yom Kippur – to search within ourselves to atone, forgive, and ultimately emerge renewed. K’lal Yisrael (the community of Israel) is afflicting its own soul right now, too. Both real and existential […]

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A Pilgrimage for Our Day



by Rabbi Josh Weinberg Mark, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the yield of your land, you shall observe the festival of the Eternal [to last] seven days: a complete rest on the first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day. Leviticus 23:39 Walk around Zion, […]

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Signs of Hope for the Future: A Promising Meeting in Israel



I’m writing from an airplane (for a change!), heading home after an unexpected 36 hours in Israel, including an important meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I was not planning on being in Israel this week. Natan Sharansky called just before Shabbat with a summons to come to Israel to find a way to make real […]

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The Challenges of Teaching about Israel



by Jack Wertheimer With the new school year nearly upon us, Jewish educational leaders are scrambling to prepare their teachers to discuss this summer’s Gaza War. The most pressing challenge is to design age-appropriate conversations: At which grade level might classroom discussions include potentially frightening topics, such as the wounding of non-combatants, kidnapping of young […]

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Natan Sharansky Speaks to URJ Camp Staffers About the Conflict in Israel



by Hanoch Greenberg The URJ’s shlichim (Israeli emissaries) were privileged last month to participate in a webinar with Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, in which he discussed the ongoing Operation Protective Edge and its implications for the shlichim, who were working in the Diaspora as conflict escalated in Israel. For […]

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Unanimous Vote on Iron Dome Funding Vital to Israel’s Security; Hamas Violation of Ceasefire Condemned



In response to the unanimous U.S. Senate vote authorizing emergency aid for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: The news this morning that Hamas violated the agreed upon 72 hour humanitarian cease fire, killed two IDF soldiers, and kidnapped Givati Brigade […]

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Reform Rabbis Travel to Israel in Show of Solidarity



On July 27th, a group Reform Rabbis from throughout North America representing the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) plan to begin a mission to Israel in an expression of solidarity and support. Says Rabbi Richard Block, senior rabbi of the Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, Ohio, who is president of the CCAR and a leader […]

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An Update on “Stop the Sirens”



As you know, the conflict in Gaza has intensified. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Israeli soldiers killed in action, with our brothers and sisters in Israeli, and with all who are in danger. When the conflict began, the Reform Movement made a decision to join Stop the Sirens, a community-wide […]

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