Tag Archives: Israel
L'Taken Participants on Capitol Hill with RAC Sign

Prepping for Consultation on Conscience: Advocacy 101

We’re excited to welcome our Consultation on Conscience participants to Washington, D.C. in just over a week! In addition to briefings with public policy decision makers and the Reform Movement’s own social action leaders, we’ll head to Capitol Hill for a lobby day, meeting with Senators and Representatives to lift up our Reform Jewish voices on key policy issues. Read more…

David Ben-Gurion declares Israel's independence

Celebrate Israel on Yom HaAtzmaut and Vote in the World Zionist Congress Elections

One of the most meaningful things for me to do on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is to look at videos of Israel observing the holiday. Across Israel, loud sirens stop all traffic, business and activity for one minute as people stand at attention and remember. (If you haven’t seen this phenomenon before, I highly suggest you watch one of the videos.) This time of year asks Israelis to reflect on more than just the destruction of the Shoah as Israel turns to Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) just next week. Read more…

Israeli flag

At the Consultation: Supporting a Secure, Peaceful Israel

The past few months have been eventful for Israelis and those who care about Israel, in more ways than one. At Consultation on Conscience (April 26-28), there will be an opportunity to discuss current issues in Israel on Monday evening at 7:15 PM. The event will feature Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Dr. Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and Rabbi Noa Sattath, Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). Earlier in the day, we’ll also have the opportunity to hear from Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State Foreign Affairs and the chief United States negotiator for the Iran nuclear negotiations. Tune in for the livestream at youtube.com/racrj. Read more…

A Vote for ARZA is a Vote for Progressive Zionism: Why We’re on the ARZA Slate

By Shira and friend of the RAC, Ronit Zemel, incoming Assistant Director of Harlam Day Camp

In the front hallway of our home growing up was a picture of our great grandfather, Rabbi Solomon Goldman, standing next to Chaim Weizmann at one of the gatherings of the World Zionist Congress in the late 1930s. This picture is a hallmark of our upbringing as liberal Zionist Jews. We heard lore of our grandmother’s grade school education at the Riali school in Haifa. Our dad told us stories of his first time in Israel as a thirteen year old, peering out into the still forbidden Old City from a lookout tower in Jerusalem. Then we had the opportunity to see Israel for ourselves; to see the vibrant Jewish life in cafes and the shuk, on buses and in kibbutz fields. Israel is a part of the fabric of our family. Read more…

The Iran Nuclear Deal: What Exactly Was the Agreement?

As we start to move into the final round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, this week has provided us with an opportunity to gain some perspective on the framework deal announced on Thursday between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China). Reform Movement leaders issued a statement after the framework deal’s announcement on last Thursday that praised the work of diplomacy while expressing concern over Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons. Read more…

Response to Iran Negotiations: A Shift on the World Stage

In an historic press conference Thursday, the countries in the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China) reached a framework agreement with Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement will, according to United States’ negotiating team, ensure that Iran’s “breakout capacity,” or the time that it could take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, is lengthened to more than a year for the length of the agreement.

The framework, and the issues that it raises, is highly technical. Yet, we can say generally that Iran has agreed to place significant curbs on its nuclear program (by dismantling many facilities and making its uranium material less usable for nuclear weapons) and agreed to intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities in return for sanctions relief from the United States, European Union, and United Nations. To learn more about the framework agreement, check out the White House fact sheet and the Washington Post summary. Read more…

World leaders in Switzerland at P5+1 announcement

Reform Jewish Movement Responds to P5+1 Negotiations

In response to yesterday’s joint statement of progress announced by the P5+1 and Iran, the leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement issued a statement saying that “a negotiated resolution … will be difficult to reach but all the alternatives to such a resolution are grim.”  Nevertheless, the leaders concluded that “we still have grave concerns about the ability of a potential deal to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Read more…

Rabbi Danny Burkeman

Advocating for an Israel Aligned with My Values: Why I’m on the ARZA Slate

As an 18-year-old I spent a year living and studying in Israel. In one class the teacher talked to us about his aliyah experience. He told us that by moving to Israel he could have a say in the Jewish future, because he could vote in the Israeli elections, and that we, in the Diaspora, could never have the same direct influence on Israeli society, or by extension play the same part in our shared Jewish future.

He was right that I wasn’t able to vote in this month’s Israeli elections, but he was wrong about the fact that I can’t have an influence on where Judaism or Israel is going. Read more…

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