Tag Archives: Israel

In memory of Shira Banki

The air stood still in Jerusalem’s Zion Square last night.

More than a thousand teens and young adults gathered there to attend a memorial service organized by the Jerusalem Open House. They came to grieve the loss of Shira Banki, the 16-year old girl who died yesterday afternoon days after being stabbed by an ultra-Orthodox man at last Thursday’s Jerusalem LGBTQ Pride March. Read more…

Naftali Bennett speaks to crowd in Beit El.

What’s New with the Israeli Coalition Government?

When we last checked in with the Israeli governing coalition in June, we found fractures in the coalition dealing with Israel’s secular-religious divides, such as Religious Minister David Azoulay calling Reform Jews a “disaster for the nation of Israel”. Recently, however, the coalition has found itself embroiled in controversy that is perhaps the most divisive issue in Israel: the settlements. Here are some the stories we’ve been following: Read more…

People looking at burned house.

Reform Movement Horrified by West Bank Terror Attack

Our hearts are heavy today after learning of a vicious act of terrorism in the West Bank, in which Israelis are suspected of setting the home of a Palestinian family on fire. Tragically, the fire claimed the life of a toddler and badly injured others. Rabbi Jonah Pesner offered thoughts on the tragedy: Read more…

Women of the Wall

A Feminist and the Wall

By Joelle Leib

During my time at Scripps College, a women’s college in Claremont, California, I have learned much about feminism and the critical fight for gender equality. Luckily for me and my female millennial peers, American women have made tremendous strides in the past few decades, so much so that Hillary Clinton is now a frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary. Yet as someone who also identifies as a Zionist as well as a feminist, a great deal must still be accomplished before these two identities can be completely reconciled. Read more…

Man and woman praying in Tallitot

There’s a Place for Us in Israel

Reform Jews in Israel and around the world are still feeling the wounds of a string of hurtful comments by Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulay. In June, Minister Azoulay called Reform Judaism “a disaster for the nation of Israel,” and earlier this month, stated that Reform Jews were really not Jews at all. The comments have been met with widespread condemnation, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but we know all too well the parable of the feather pillow: once something is said, the hurt never fully goes away. Read more…

The U.S. delegation kneels over a binder and tablet

As the Ink Cools on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Debate Heats Up

Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran have concluded their 20-month long negotiations process with an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, but the agreement still faces major hurdles and a divided country as it moves towards implementation. Chief among these is the 60-day review period mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (often known as the Corker-Cardin bill), which the Reform Movement supported. Read more…

Negotiators sit around a large table in Vienna

Iran Nuclear Program Agreement Announced, Reform Movement Responds

Early this morning, P5+1 and Iran announced an historic agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, while simultaneously providing Iran with relief from nuclear-related sanctions. The deal, which has been the result of nearly 20 months of negotiations, comes in at a sleek 159 pages, and many top experts, including those in the Reform Movement, are still parsing through the details. Read more…

Iran Talks Deadline Passes, but Negotiations Continue

It’s the first day of July, which means that the original deadline for a final agreement between the P5+1 and Iran has now come and passed. Yet, negotiators are still working diligently: in a widely-expected move yesterday, negotiators agreed to a seven-day extension of the talks to iron out the final details of the agreement. The extension comes at a time when the political will for an agreement, especially on the Iranian side, is being questioned: Supreme Leader Khamenei is now asserting that sanctions must be lifted before Iran starts dismantling its nuclear program, a non-starter for the countries in the P5+1. Over this next week, we will find out how serious the Supreme Leader’s demands are. Read more…

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