International Federation of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists

What divides and what unites us? By Sam Grant, Pro-Zion

Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend a busy 10 days in Israel, taking part in three conferences, which brought together Jews from across the world to talk about the future of Israel and Progressive Judaism.

The first was a ‘Young Adults Reform Zionist Leadership Seminar’, the second was the Presidential Conference, organised under the auspices of President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, and the third was the Va’ad Ha’poel of the World Zionist Congress.

I was interested to discover whether a bunch of opinionated Jews from tens of countries from all across the political and religious spectrum agree on anything. In this brief article, I will talk about the major events and concepts I dealt with and then indulge in some hesitant conclusions.

During my trip, one question kept recurring to me: "What divides and what unites us?" And the immediate follow-up question this raises is to whom do I refer when I say ‘us’. At times this question addressed how younger and older generations interact, and, further how we can get young Jews involved and excited by Judaism and Israel. As one of the incoming movement workers for LJY-Netzer, I found this last question particularly interesting. At other times, I was concerned with the divides within the Jewish people – be they denominational, geographical or ideological.

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