Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), sent the following letter today to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
vid Grossman, the Israeli author and activist, whose books, essays and public advocacy have inspired a generation, will receive Reform Judaism’s highest honor, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 2017 Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award. The award will be presented at the 74th URJ Biennial in Boston in December 2017.
Senior leadership of the Reform Movement, the largest movement in Jewish life, sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to unnecessary and demeaning body searches imposed on female rabbinic students at the Western Wall in Jerusalem:
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
We are writing to express our outrage and dismay about the humiliation of a cohort of Reform rabbinic students, all of whom are the future leadership of the Jewish people, at the entrance to the Kotel on August 23rd, Rosh Hodesh Elul.
Two of our female rabbinic students, who are spending their first year of studies in Israel, were stopped at the entrance to the Kotel. After they passed through a metal detector (which clearly indicated that they were not posing any security threat), they were asked to lift their skirts and shirts in a demeaning way, an action that completely defied the decisions the Supreme Court reached on this matter.
Today, the Israeli Supreme Court made an important statement by signaling that they are fed up with the Netanyahu government’s decision to “freeze” its own governmental decision forged in compromise with our Reform Movement and our allies. The court gave the Israeli government two weeks to come back with a counter argument to the court, an extremely short window that seems to imply great impatience with the government’s behavior.
URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs on Charlottesville: We Condemn Neo-Nazi hate speech and call for an end to violence; but “Moral Equivalence of violence and hate “on many sides” is troubling. We commend the opening of President Trump’s statement condemning the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” but are deeply troubled by the moral equivalence evident in President Trump’s statement today.