Tag Archives: Israel
Israeli Elections

Seven Weeks ‘Till (Israeli) Elections!

It’s been just 29 days since I last gave an update on new elections for the Israeli Knesset, but there has been no shortage of newsworthy developments from the Jewish State. With only seven weeks left until Israelis go to the polls, parties (and party leaders) are frantically posturing for their party to look the most attractive to voters on Election Day. Read more…

Sec. Kerry walks down a hallway with the Iranian Foreign Minister and EU Representative

Keeping up with the Iran Negotiations

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, will be holding informal talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other negotiating teams on the sidelines of World Economic Forum this week in Davos, Switzerland. Yet the real negotiating is going on around Capitol Hill, where the newly-sworn in 114th Congress is proposing new legislation around the talks. Three different pairs of Senators are proposing new bills: Read more…

Why I’m on the ARZA Slate

When the ARZA slate for the World Zionist Congress elections was officially announced last week with my name on it, I was humbled. The World Zionist Congress is the democratic body of the Jewish people worldwide that will meet this fall for the first time since 2010, and as a member of the ARZA slate, I will have the opportunity to represent Reform values to the World Zionist Congress and advocate for more funding to programs that promote religious pluralism, equality, and peace in Israel.

Yet aside from being humbled, I thought back to my experience on my Birthright trip three years ago. I remembered my night out in Tel Aviv and my trip to the Western Wall, but the most lasting images are from all those hours I spent on our tour bus, crisscrossing from Haifa to Tiberias to Jerusalem to Beersheva. I remember most strongly the scene as we left Tiberias, driving up the winding roads from Lake Kinneret to the hills beyond. Looking out the window, I saw the yellow-brown grass everywhere, green bushes dotting the landscape and the occasional signpost that listed our location in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The land looked so serene from my seat on the bus, equal parts austere and equal parts welcoming. Read more…

Women of the Wall

Left Out: News from the Western Wall

When I had the chance go to the Kotel, or the Western Wall, I was able to walk up to the men’s section, find an open section of wall, and run my hands over the coarse, grey stone that I’d heard about ever since I learned the letter aleph. I had an unexpectedly intense connection with my Jewish identity, the kind of clichéd connection I thought only existed in the stories of Birthright trip promoters. I treasure that experience, but I know that part of the reason I was able to have that experience was because I’m fortunate. As a man, I could wear a tallit at the Kotel without being arrested, and I could go to the spacious men’s section instead of the crowded, smaller, women’s section. Because of these things, I was able to have a much better experience than my female counterparts. Read more…

front door of the RAC, our year in blogs

2014 at the RAC: Our Year in Blogs  

The (secular) New Year brings new opportunities and new challenges in the world of Jewish social justice. The 114th Congress will convene on January 3, 2015 at noon. As we look towards what 2015 will bring, let’s take a moment to look back at 2014 through 14 RACBlog highlights.

This list is a mix of our most popular blogs or the blogs that represent landmark moments in our programming or observances. Don’t see your favorite blog here? Let us know in the comments! Read more…

Israeli Elections

Getting Ready for the New Elections in Israel!

As a parliamentary democracy, Israel is slated to have elections every four years, but they can be held earlier if the governing coalition dissolves. Few governing coalitions last the full four years, but even so, it was a bit of a surprise when Prime Minister Netanyahu called for elections last month, less than two years after the last election. Elections will be held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, and with such little time between now and then, it seems like every day is chock full of new developments that will shape the elections. Read more…

The Writing on the Wall

Disaster struck Saturday night at a school building in Jerusalem.  Four firefighter teams were called in to extinguish a blaze that destroyed a first-grade classroom.  The larger tragedy is that the fire seems to have been an act of premeditated arson, and the school targeted for being a model of Jewish-Arab community building.  The torched building housed a Hebrew-Arab bilingual school—The Hand in Hand Jerusalem School—where Jewish and Arab parents send their children to play and learn side-by-side.
Read more…

Israeli flag

The Reform Movement Condemns Brutal Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue

In response to the attack that happened at B’nei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem, the leaders of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) and the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) released the following statements:

Reform Movement Condemns Brutal Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue, from URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs

“The Reform Movement is appalled at the horrific and gruesome attack of worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem early this morning. Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrendous attack and we insist the perpetrators be condemned and held responsible. Such violence on innocent people in their place of worship is an affront to all humanity. Israeli and Palestinian leaders must work together to de-escalate the growing violence in the region, particularly in the holy city of Jerusalem. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims taken from us this morning in Jerusalem. May the Holy One comfort these families among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.” Read more…