May 27, 2024 /

A Jewish and Democratic State of Israel – April 2023

At services on March 10th, I spoke about how I was wrestling with an Israel that seems to be changing how it treats its non-Orthodox and non-Jewish citizens (if you missed the sermon you can find it on YouTube entitled: A Jewish Pogrom in Huwara; How Far We Have Strayed). At the conclusion of the sermon I advocated strongly that now was the time that we, as Reform Jews, need to be more involved and engaged with Israel than ever before to help protect and defend the values we care about so dearly. To that end, here are a few organizations that I think you should look into to help support and get involved with.

Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)
IRAC’s mission statement is to “secure civil rights for a just and egalitarian Israel based on Israeli law and Jewish tradition.”

As they state on their website:
“Members of the new government threaten to override Israel’s core values with insidious racism, extremism, and discrimination. A barrage of coalition agreements forms a powerful storm that endangers IRAC’s legal achievements which secured Israel as a Jewish and democratic homeland. A legal revolution, if allowed to pass, will block attempts to challenge in courts the extreme initiatives of the government and will gravely harm Israel’s democratic nature, leaving the rights of Reform Jews, women, LGBTQ and Arabs unprotected.

In addition, due to the anti-Reform views of the new government and its ministers the Israel Reform Movement stands to lose more than $1.5 million in government funding. These programs provide critical support for rabbis and congregational activities, educational programs, and assistance to new immigrants, including many from Ukraine and Russia.”
Visit their website https://www.irac.org/ to learn more about how you can help them in their causes.

Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)
The IMPJ is an organization that is guided by values of Reform Judaism in general, and Tikkun Olam in particular. The Israel Reform Movement works every day to make progressive and pluralistic Judaism accessible to all Israelis. The IMPJ is the Israel equivalent of our Union for Reform Judaism. They account for 53 Reform congregations spread throughout Israel, some veteran and some new initiatives, with progressive Jewish services and practice.

Visit their website https://reform.org.il/en to learn more about how to help support many of the Jews who find themselves on the front line of all the protests occurring in Israel.