Posts Tagged: Religious Freedom

Anat Hoffman’s Biennial Address: “More Than One Way to Be Jewish”



[Editor's Note: This address was given by Noa Sattath on behalf of Anat Hoffman, director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, on Saturday night at the URJ Biennial.] Anat lost her voice. Despite all the remedies and chicken soup suggested by many in this conference, she can’t speak. […]

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Reform Movement Responds to Kotel Plan



In response to Minister of Religious Affairs Naftali Bennett’s announcement yesterday regarding upgrades at the Kotel, the Reform Movement released the following statement: The Kotel is a powerful symbol of the Jewish yearning for Israel and for the unity of the Jewish people. As such, it needs to be open and free to all Jews; […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Jacobs Goes to Jerusalem



Last week, I was proud to welcome to Israel our partner from the URJ, Rabbi Rick Jacobs. We visited the Knesset together and we had formal meetings with nineteen Knesset Members from both the left and the right. Rick expressed the URJ’s love and commitment to Israel. It was an opportunity for Knesset members to […]

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Internet Round-Up: The Best Jewish Stories on the Web



Here are just a few of the recent stories from across the webosphere that speak directly to (and about) Reform Jews. What Jewish stories have you been reading recently? Leave a comment and let us know! “Paying Our Fair Share,” Washington Jewish Week Finding the best financial model for congregants to pay is a challenge […]

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Rodef Tzedek, Pursuer of Justice



Mr. Mayor, I have no illusions that my eloquent letter of invitation is what brought you here this morning. First, it helps to know someone at City Hall. My wife and I are blessed to know and love your First Deputy Mayor Patti Harris, who graces us here today and has contributed so much to your administration, this city, and our family.

But I suspect that a significant reason the mayor is here this morning is because of his long and close collaboration with my wife, Susan Freedman, to bring exhilarating public art to NYC, like the “NYC Waterfalls” and this year’s “Discovering Columbus.” Mayor Bloomberg has been an extraordinary supporter of the arts, especially the public kind that all New Yorkers and visitors can experience.

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Big News Out of Israel!



Israel’s Religious Services Ministry announced today that state-employed neighborhood rabbis may be phased out and funds would be given to communities for rabbis of their own choice, including non-Orthodox rabbis. The ministry plan also calls for the designation of the term “rabbi” to be used by the government to refer to non-Orthodox and female religious […]

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Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson on Women of the Wall



Still not clear on the details of the ongoing dispute regarding women’s prayer at the Western Wall in Israel? Been following along so closely that you want to know even more about it? Last week, Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson, director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, was interviewed by Timothy Michael Law, founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of The […]

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Jerusalem District Court Rules on Women of the Wall



Leaders of the Reform Movement issued a statement today about a recent ruling from the Jerusalem District Court that determined that recent detention of Women of the Wall members for their activities at the Western Wall was unjustified and for denying local police requests for restraining orders against the group. Haaretz has more on the […]

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Lobbying for Marriage Equality in Israel



Two weeks ago, I was at the Knesset, Israel’s legislative parliament, wearing Noar Telem’s uniform, and I couldn’t feel any prouder that we are making our voice abundantly clear in front of our elected representatives.

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WRJ Leaders Pray With Knesset Members at Western Wall



Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) leaders today joined Knesset and Women of the Wall (WOW) members to pray at the Jewish holy site, the Western Wall, to celebrate the start of the new Jewish month and to promote religious freedom in Israel. This monthly service, which today commemorated the month when Jews celebrate their freedom […]

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What Does “Youth Engagement” Even Mean?



by Lindsey Morgan Youth Advisor A asks, “Are you going to the URJ’s Youth Engagement Conference?” Youth Advisor B answers, “Well, I’m not entirely sure yet. I haven’t talked to my temple, board and it hasn’t been approved. To be perfectly honest, I also have no idea what ‘youth engagement’ really means and whether there’s […]

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Arrest in Jerusalem Underscores Gender & Pluralism Issues



Two nights ago, police intervened as women, including Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, prayed at the Western Wall in celebration of the beginning of the Jewish month of Cheshvan and the 100th anniversary of Hadassah. Hoffman was arrested and charged with the “offense” […]

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Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Thank You, Rabbi Amar



My colleagues in the Reform Movement reacted harshly to the statement of Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar that on the High Holidays it would be better for a Jew to pray by himself or herself than with Reform Jews.I understand their furor, but my own response is actually the opposite: I would like to thank Rabbi […]

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Speaking Out for Religious Pluralism in Israel



“Freedom of Religion in Israel” was the message on the signs held up today by Reform, Conservative, and secular Jews in front of the office of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem. Inside the building, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Rav Amar was holding a meeting in order to attempt to derail the decision of the Israeli […]

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