They All Came Out To Cheer
This week the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism held its Biennial convention. There was an amazing turnout with over 1000 participants we welcomed four new congregations to the IMPJ family; we celebrated the achievements of our educational enterprises, and marked the 25th anniversary of IRAC.
Rabbi Miri Gold’s case was a particular source of joy for every participant. It was great seeing how appreciative our peers in the Movement were at all the hard work IRAC had put in over the last seven years working for this day. The feeling of pride filled the air. The conference was full of dynamic speakers full of praise for both IRAC and the issues we work on everyday.
Yizhar Hess, Executive Director of the Masorti Movement in Israel said, “One day the Reform Movement will receive the Israel Prize for having created the Israel Religious Action Center. You are the jewel in the crown of the movement in Israel.
Rabbi Naama Kelman-Ezrachi, Dean of the HUC campus in Jerusalem and the first female rabbi ordained in Israel said, “One of the attacks on reform Judaism is that it is a transplant from the United States. Israelis imported jeans and Coca Cola… But pluralism and egalitarianism…that should stay in America?”
Rabbi David Saperstein spoke about the pride our North American Reform congregations feel inIRAC’s work and its significance for Jewish unity and our shared future.
The Miri Gold case electrified the Jewish world and made us a stronger movement as we continue our growth and service to the Israeli public. Now that we have broken the barrier we are focused on the next step. We will keep fighting until every Jew in Israel can be married by the rabbi of their choice to the person of their choice. If this seems like a distant dream remember how many people thought that the State of Israel calling a female graduate of the Hebrew Union College a Rabbi was a distant dream. Now that is the law of the land.
Thousands of you emailed Prime Minister Netanyahu to tell him your feelings about Israel’s first officially recognized Reform Rabbi, but we need to keep the pressure on him. The greater our numbers the stronger our voice and the more days like last Wednesday we can expect in the future.