Posts Tagged: Israel

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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Saperstein: Recent Spate of Anti-Semitic Incidents Prompts Alarm



In response to recent anti-Semitic episodes in Los Angeles and Paris, as well as incidents across the United States and Europe, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: “We are deeply disturbed by the recent violent anti-Semitic and anti-Israel uprisings. Over the weekend, rioters, wielding bats […]

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WUPJ Statement on the Arrest of Six Suspects in Connection with Murder of Palestinian Teen



The following statement comes from leaders of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, in response to news of the arrest of six individuals in conjunction with the murder of a Palestinian teenager: Six suspects, members of a Jewish extremist cell according to the Shin Bet security agency, were arrested Sunday in connection with the horrific […]

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Reform Jewish Movement Mourns the Deaths of Murdered Israeli Teens



News broke a few hours ago that Israeli officials had discovered the bodies of missing Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. Our hearts are broken by this devastating development. Reform Movement voices from around the world have expressed their sadness at today’s news. To read statements from various entities within our Movement, […]

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NFTY at 75 – Think Big



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg A Jew who participates in the suffering of his nation and its fate, but does not join in its destiny, which is expressed in a life of Torah and mitzvot, destroys the essence of Judaism and injures his own uniqueness. By the same token, a Jew who is observant but does […]

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5 Ways NFTY Teens are Helping the Reform Movement “Make it Big”



I have a dirty little secret. I’m a junkie, I’m addicted to NPR and LinkedIn. Today I’m going to confess my LinkedIn addiction, not so much for the networking but for the information digests they provide based on career interests. This week, I came across “5 Signs You’re Going to Make it Big One Day.” Thinking, “Who doesn’t want to make […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ Letter to Delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly



Copies of this letter are being given to delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly in Detroit, MI, who will be voting this week on several Israel-focused resolutions related to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Dear Friend, As the president of America’s largest Jewish denomination, representing 1.5 million North American Jews, it is my […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ Open Letter to President-Elect Reuven Rivlin



[Editor's Note: This letter from Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform, Judaism, to Reuven Rivlin, Israel's president-elect, originally ran in Haaretz.] Dear President-elect Rivlin, I want to offer my warm congratulations to you upon your election as the 10th president of Israel. What a tremendous opportunity you have to serve our beloved […]

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Top 5 Highlights of the URJ Board Leadership Mission to Israel



Earlier this month, I joined URJ president Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Director of Israel Engagement Rabbi Yehudit Werchow, and nearly 50 URJ leaders for an incredible four days in Israel on the URJ Board Leadership Mission. It was a working visit, and it’s difficult to boil down such an intense trip into five highlights moments, but […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The state of Israel in America (Part 1 of 3)



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg My heart is in the East by Yehuda HaLevy (Toledo, Spain  1085 – 1140) My heart is in the East, and I am at the ends of the West; How can I taste what I eat and how could it be pleasing to me? How shall I render my vows and […]

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