The chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, Natan Sharansky, arrived in Brazil on March 22 to kick off a two-week South America tour, which also includes Uruguay, Chile and Argentina.
In São Paulo, Sharansky met a delegation of leaders of Arzenu and Mercaz, which stressed the deep concern regarding the referral of the issue of conversions in Israel and the risks of irreparable rupture within the Jewish people.
The representatives also expressed appreciation and confidence regarding the performance of Sharansky in the construction of a solution capable of guaranteeing the unity of the Jewish people and the recognition of all non-Orthodox streams of religious expression of Judaism in Israel.
Sharansky, pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of appreciation for the part he played, has shown major interest in finding out more about the Reform and Masorti congregations in Brazil and details about the Jewish/Zionist educational work that is performed by these institutions.
Sharansky received a written statement, signed by Nelson Kuperman, on behalf of Chazit Mitkademet/Arzenu Brazil, and by Mario Grunebaum, on behalf of Mercaz Amlat, urging him to carry on his struggle against the legislation proposed by MK David Rotem regarding issues of conversions in Israel and overseas.
The statement also praises his appointment as co-chair of the roundtable that will conduct the negotiations on those matters, and the confidence that this fact represents an important step to building the dreamed mofetet society where each and every one will learn about, and respect, the other.
Click to read the Letter to Sharansky.