International Federation of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists

July 2010 Blog Posts (13)

Jewish women fight for equality at Jerusalem Western Wall - Interview with Anat Hoffman

Israeli law prohibits women from reading the Torah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of Judaism's most sacred spots. Anat Hoffman wants to change that. She's the chairwoman of Women of the Wall and a leading figure in the Reform movement in Israel. Earlier this month, she was arrested for carrying the Torah at the wall. Hoffman tells guest host, Rebecca Roberts on National Public Radio in the US, about the incident and why she is so steadfastly working to upend the… Continue

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 30, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

In appreciation and admiration - Joan Garson

Many messages of congratulations and thanks have gone out to the members of the worldwide Reform community over the last few days. At the risk of repetition, I want to add my own.
ARZENU was included on the conference calls with the other leaders of the Reform and Conservative streams in Israel and North America, and the leaders of the federations of the United States, which co-coordinated the response to the Conversion Bill. This is a most appropriate recognition of the roles…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 22, 2010 at 11:13pm — No Comments

Message from Rabbi Gilad Kariv, IMPJ director

This past week was a week of great challenges as we stood together, one strong Jewish community, struggling over the face of Israeli society. I am happy to update you that thanks to our joint efforts, we were successful in stopping the Conversion Bill from going to a vote this Wednesday.
Currently, Netanyahu has declared he does not support the bill and has expressed his intention to form a special committee to promote a dialogue around these burning issues - recognition of…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 20, 2010 at 7:30pm — No Comments

We did it! Conversion Bill vote called off. By Anat Hoffman

Dear Friends of IRAC,
Amazing news. We just learned that the Conversion Bill will not go to vote this Wednesday – a huge success! You deserve a gigantic thank you. Because of your overwhelming opposition, MK Rotem realized that he did not have the support to pass the Conversion Bill at this time. Thank you to all of the organizations and movements worldwide, to all who sent thousands of letters, faxes, and phone calls, and to all who spread the word to your friends, family, and…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 19, 2010 at 10:09pm — 1 Comment

Overview on Arzenu seminar and WZO Congress in Portuguese

Nelson Kuperman wrote an article (in Portuguese) about the Arzenu pre-congress seminar and the World Zionist Congress for a publication called Quinzena Na Ari. His article has been attached so those of you who understand Portuguese can read through it. QZXIV_N11_congresso_sionista.pdf

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 18, 2010 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Dringender Aufruf um Unterstützung: Briefkampagne gegen das "Rotem-Gesetz"

Liebe Freunde,

In wenigen Tagen, am 9. Av, erinnern wir an die Zerstörung unserer beiden antiken Tempel. Einer der Gründe, den das klassische Judentum für die Zerstörung benennt, war die Avera, die Sünde, Sinat Chinam, der Streit, der Hass und die Spaltung innerhalb des damaligen Judentums. Vor wenigen Tagen, am 1. Av, gab es zwei Vorfälle, die unsere Sorge um die Einheit des Judentums, weiter wachsen lässt:

1. Der Gesetzesentwurf (Rotem-Gesetz), der die Anerkennung von… Continue

Added by Adrian Michael Schell on July 15, 2010 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Important follow-up on the Conversion Bill

Anat Hoffman, chair of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), sent out a follow-up email after yesterday's request for people to email a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the controversial Conversion Bill. Please read below for the email.
Dear Friends of IRAC,
Thank you for your immediate response to our call to action yesterday against the Conversion Bill. We have received thousands of signatures and letters, and we…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 13, 2010 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Knesset committee approves preliminary reading of Conversion Bill. By Jonathan Lis and Associated Press, Ha'aretz

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday approved in a preliminary reading the new draft for a bill on conversion reform that has sparked outrage among Reform and Conservative Jewish communities in Israel and abroad.
The draft, which was prepared by committee chairman MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), would assign the authority on matters of conversion in Israel to the Chief Rabbinate. Monday's approval was needed before parliament can vote on the…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 12, 2010 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Anat Hoffman's letter to IRAC members - Request to write to the Prime Minister

In The Pluralist today's (the newsletter of the Israel Religious Action Center), Anat Hoffman wrote of the controversial events of the past two days - her arrest and the Conversion Bill. Her letter includes a request for help from the Jewish community worldwide - to put pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu (see letter below her email).
Dear Friends of IRAC,
Today appeared to be an excellent day for the ultra-Orthodox hegemony here in…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 12, 2010 at 7:11pm — No Comments

IRAC's Anat Hoffman arrested for carrying a Torah!

Anat Hoffman, chair of IRAC and one of the leaders of the Reform movement in Israel and Women of the Wall (WOW) was arrested for holding a Sefer Torah during a Rosh Chodesh celebration at the Western Wall (Kotel).
Women of the Wall (WOW) gathered this morning for their monthly Rosh Chodesh services at 7 am on the women's side of the Kotel. Hoffman, with a Sefer Torah in her arms, led the 150 women-strong prayer group in…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 12, 2010 at 6:32pm — No Comments

An open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

For 2000 years, Judaism has treated Jews-by-choice the same as Jews-by-birth. We are taught "as soon as a convert emerges from the mikvah (ritual bath) she or he is Jewish for all purposes." (Talmud, Yevamot 47b). For 62 years, since its founding, the State of Israel, through the Law of Return, has welcomed Jews from around the world as citizens in the world's only Jewish state.
Today, legislation before the Knesset - a bill sponsored by MK…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 12, 2010 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

Reform Jews write to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Conversion Bill

The international Reform community is united in its dismay at the recent events relating to the Conversion Bill. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly in the United States, have penned a letter in response to the latest news. Their sentiments are supported by the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis,… Continue

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 12, 2010 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Reform and Conservative Jews fuming ahead of Knesset vote on conversions. By Natasha Mozgovaya and Jonathan Lis, Ha'aretz

The Reform and Conservative movements both in Israel and abroad were up in arms on Sunday, a day before the Knesset plenum was to stage its first vote on a proposal that would grant the chief rabbinate exclusive authority to oversee conversions in Israel.
The bill submitted by the Knesset Law and Justice Committee has already spurred a wave of…

Added by Arzenu Admin on July 12, 2010 at 3:00pm — No Comments

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