Tag Archives: Pluralism in 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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Cross, Star of David, Islamic crescent

Reflecting on Interfaith Issues in Israel

By Joey Rosen

On the plane back from my Year-In-Israel as part of my first year of rabbinical school at HUC-JIR, I had the privilege of sitting next to a man who had participated in a Christian mission trip in Israel. It was a pleasure sharing with him my journey that led me to rabbinical school, a conversation he might have never had before. I also got to enjoy a different perspective on seeing Israel for the first time, as I had no previous knowledge of how a Christian mission trip to Israel works. But before he said ‘God Bless’ and dozed off for the nine hour flight, he made a comment to me about how the Christians of America were cheering for us in our war against the Muslims, who are polluting the land with violence and treachery. Read more…

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As Israel’s New Coalition Government Gets Underway, New and Old Conflicts Arise

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a coalition government after his Likud Party’s resounding victory in the March elections. As positions in the government have been given out to coalition partners, and agreements made about government priorities, we’ve started to get a sense of what this government coalition will mean for Israel. While laws have yet to be passed, political parties—and the Members of Knesset in them—are starting to stake their claims for how they want the government to respond to challenges throughout its term. Here are some of the developments we’ve been watching: Read more…

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ARZA, representing Reform Judaism

Reform Movement Scores a Decisive Victory in World Zionist Congress Elections

The Reform Movement’s slate for the 2015 World Zionist Congress elections won by a wide margin, according to results released Thursday. The Reform Movement’s ARZA slate won 56 out of the United States’ 145 possible seats (or 39% of the vote), which was more than the second and third place numbers of seats combined. Read more…

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Protesters wave an Israeli and Ethiopian flag outside of a building

Ethiopian Jews Continue to Protest Discrimination

Ethiopian Israelis staged another protest Wednesday night in the heart of Tel Aviv, blocking the heavily-trafficked Begin Road. Some protestors had been promising violence, and some minor scuffles did break out after 8 p.m. Israeli time, but the protest was much smaller than those at the beginning of last month that saw thousands of Ethiopian Israelis turn out to protest discrimination and police violence. Read more…

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