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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

Whats New?

What's New at the IMPJ? - Chesvan 5778 Newsletter

‏יום שני ‏23 ‏אוקטובר ‏2017

What's New at the IMPJ?                                                      View this email in your browser
Dear Friends,

This week we are reading Parashat “Lech Lecha”, which begins with Abraham’s journey to the Land of Israel and the beginning of the formation of the Hebrew nation. The formative verse “'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee” signifies the initial and unbreakable connection between the first Jewish mission and the territory that was designated for it.
However, if we look at the verse from a different direction, we will find that it actually reminds us of that the Land of Israel is not described in this verse as the homeland of the Jewish people. Abraham and his decedents’ journey actually outlines the character of the wandering Jewish people, back and forth, to the Land of Israel and back, and emphasizes that the majority of its history and its best creations actually took place in the diaspora.
On the 7th of Cheshvan, which falls on this coming Friday, we will mark “Diaspora-Israel Day” in Israel and around the world, a new date in the Jewish calendar on which we celebrate Jewish Peoplehood and the connection between Jews living around the world. The 7th of Cheshvan is traditionally the date on which our Sages set as the beginning of the prayers for rain (in addition to prayers recited on Shmini Atzeret). The reason the Sages postponed the prayer for rain to the 7th of Cheshvan was in order to allow pilgrims from Babylon, who arrived to Jerusalem on Sukkot, to return to their homes without being hit by rain on their way back. This postponement of the prayer for rain signifies the early connection between Israel and the Diaspora, a close and meaningful connection which is aware and sensitive to both communities’ needs: while diaspora Jews pray for rain in Israel, where they do not live, Israeli Jews delay the prayer for rain in order to allow their brothers and sisters, Abraham's decedents, to return safely to their homes.   
Parashat Lech Lecha is always read on the same week on which the 7th of Cheshvan falls. Over the coming years, we wish to dedicate Shabbat Lech Lecha and the 7th of Cheshvan to the strengthening of ties between us – the children of Abraham who reside the world over. We invite you to celebrate Diaspora-Israel Day this coming Shabbat at your congregations. Learn more in 'DOMIM's Corner' below.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv 
Public Affairs Update
Another win for the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)- the IMPJ's legal and public advocacy arm! IRAC and the Mossawa Center filed a lawsuit against the job-seekers website “Avodah Ivrit”(Jewish Work) in 2014 under the claim that the website is breaking the anti-discrimination law by only allowing Jews to advertise and preventing Arabs from doing so, both as job seekers or as employers. This past week, the HaShalom Court in Jerusalem ruled that the website is breaking the law through discrimination and must pay damages of 40,000 NIS to the plaintiffs. 
Anat Hoffman, Presdient of IRAC: "During my cross examination, I was asked: What business is it of the Reform Movement if we discriminate agaisnt Arabs? Isn't your job to focus on providing services to the Reform Jews? I answered: We are committed to equality as a religious value. It is as important to our movement as religious services on Yom Kippur." 
Remembering Rabin
On 12th of Chesvan, November 1st, Israel will commemorate the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin z"l. Rabin was assassinated 22 years ago at a peace rally by an extreme right-wing fanatic, who opposed his political views. On this day, memorial events will be held throughout the country, including in our congregations.

Read our collection of texts for Rabin's Memorial Day, including a reflection from IMPJ President and CEO Rabbi Gilad Kariv.  
Tishrei Chagim at the IMPJ
Rosh Hashannah 
Over 100 Rosh Hashannah Services, Tashlich and festive activities took place at our IMPJ congregations. Our Congregation in Rosh Pina held Rosh Hashana services in the ancient synagogue at Korazim. This synagogue dates back to the third centruy CE. "We sat in the warm evening sun, with views on the lake of Galilee. Music and prayers sounded amidst the old ruins. Was this the first New years service in 1600 years?" -Micha De Vries, Member of Kehillat Rosh Pina
Take a look at our Rosh Hashannah Album! 
Yom Kippur 
Our IMPJ congregations and High Holiday Minyans were ready and waiting on Friday for Kol Nidre. One Minyan in Giv'at Ada was put together in 48 hours with the help of dedicated residents in the community. Our Young Adult Movement, Tlamim, also held a wonderfully successful Yom Kippur gathering in Neve Shalom with 100 young adults in attendance.

Pictured: Closing Havdallah services after Neilah at Kehillat Bavat Ayin in Rosh HaAyin and Kehillat Ra'anan in Ra'nana.
Noar Telem, the IMPJ's Youth Movement, held their annual opening event 'ShabbaTelem' over Sukkot, with 230 youth and counselors in attendance. The program focused on community and Shabbat. Including hikes in the Sharon area and an uplifting communal Shabbat. 
Also check out how our IMPJ Congregations celebrated Sukkot in our Sukkot holiday album!
Simchat Torah
Watch just some of the joyous Hakafot at our IMPJ congregations in the video above, including the joint Jerusalem Congregation Second Hakafot at Jerusalem's First train station, where over 200 people celebrated, sang and danced together.

You can also click through our album to see how the rest of our congregations celebrated Simchat Torah! 
DOMIM– aLike - the IMPJ's Israel-Diaspora relations project, established together with the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs - fosters partnerships between Reform and Progressive congregations in Israel and around the world. 
Diaspora Israel Day
Celebrating Jewish Peoplehood | 7th of Cheshvan
For thousands of years, Jews have lived around the world, scattered across the globe. Despite the distance between them, Jewish communities have kept an ongoing connection, fulfilling the value of Klal Yisrael.
This connection between us is a true cause for celebration!
This year, on the 7th of Cheshvan – October 27th 2017 – we invite you to join us for Diaspora Israel Day – a special day in which we celebrate Jewish Peoplehood.
Celebrate Diaspora Israel Day in YOUR congregation, or join us for our live broadcast of Diaspora Israel Day on DOMIM's Facebook page - October 27th 2017, 6:00pm Israel time.

Meet Israeli Reform Rabbis:

Rabbi Gregory Kotler
"As the first Oleh (immigrant) from the Former Soviet Union to be ordained at HUC in Jerusalem, I see my role as a bridge between the Reform movement and hundreds of thousands of immigrants. I dream of the day when every immigrant anywhere in Israel will be able to connect with Reform Judaism in their own language, without abandoning the cultural world they brought to Israel from their country of origin." 

Rabbi Gregory Kotler is rabbi of three congregations for Russian-speaking Israelis.