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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

Whats New?

Kislev 5778 Newsletter

‏יום שלישי ‏21 ‏נובמבר ‏2017

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

I have recently completed a visit to Australia, where I had the opportunity and pleasure to meet members of the Progressive Jewish community. I had the privilege of sharing with them all of the wonderful developments and challenges going on in the Israel movement, and hear from them about the important work that they are doing in their local communities. My visit to Australia came just after we marked Diaspora-Israel Day, a new holiday held on the 7th of Cheshvan, celebrating the special bond between Jewish people around the world, so the timing of my visit could not have been better. We are so proud of the special events that our congregations held, together with their partner congregations.
 
And perhaps it is no coincidence that just a couple weeks later, this Shabbat we celebrated the Sigd holiday, together with the Ethiopian community in Israel. The Sigd is a holiday celebrated by Ethiopian Jewry- Beyta Yisrael, marking the renewal of the covenant between this community and God. The holiday is traditionally marked by a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a dream the Ethiopian community so aspired towards for centuries. A few IMPJ congregations have also embraced this holiday. Kehillat “Yuval” in Gedera, for instance, has made it a tradition to celebrate the holiday together with the local Ethiopian community every year since its establishment.
 
And what better way to end the month of Cheshvan, which places such a great emphasis on Jewish peoplehood, than the pride we have in ordaining four new Israeli Reform rabbis last Thursday. Leora Ezrachi-Vered, Yair (YaYa) Tobias, Rinat Tzfania-Schwartz and David Laor joined the list of Israeli Reform rabbis proudly ordained at the Hebrew Union College (HUC), and in doing so, will mark the ordination of the 100th Israeli Reform rabbi- what Nachat!

In honor of this Ordination, leaders from the global Reform Movement gathered together and marched to the Upper Plaza of the Kotel with Torah Scrolls. There we were met with unnecessary violence, further evidence that Prime Minister Netanyahu's words of promise "One Wall One People", repeated again, just two days earlier, to the delegates at the JFNA General Assembly, are meaningless without action. You can read more in our Public affairs Update below. 
 
In just one month, we will be celebrating Hannukah, the holiday of light. There is no doubt that this preceding month of Cheshvan has provided us with many rays of light to fill our Hanukyah, manorah.
 
Wishing you a Hodesh Tov.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Gilad Kariv 
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Public Affairs Update
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We have reason to celebrate this month, with positive steps forward in our continued fight for equality for all Jews at the Kotel and in Israeli society. Recently, the Supreme Court of Israel has made the decision to hold another hearing on our petitions for equality of prayer at the Kotel, in front of an expanded panel of seven justices. We have also felt the support of our Diaspora community in the North America with the Jewish Federations of North America passing a resolution at their General Assembly calling on the Israeli Government or reverse its freeze of the historic Kotel Agreement. Most recently, as a continuation of a prayer service in honor of the 100th Israeli Rabbi to be ordained, HUC board members, and students joined leaders of the global Reform Movement in marching to the Upper Plaza of the Kotel with Torah Scrolls. There, they were met with physical resistance by police and Western Wall guards, however they persisted, past the guards and metal barricades and to the Plaza where they finished services with HaTikvah. Read more about our morning of resistance here.   

This month we will also celebrate 'Three Weddings and a Statement', a joint celebration partnered by: IRAC, Central Synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, Park Avenue Synagogue, and Sutton Place, where three Israeli couples who either can not, or will not, marry under the Orthodox Rabbinate in Israel will be married by prominent Rabbis of Judaism's different movements. The event will take place at The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Centerl in NYC. 
Holidays and Events
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As we move into winter, the hours of daylight get shorter. In order to prevent darkness penetrating the human skin and filling the human soul, religions around the world have created “festivals of light.” During December, DOMIM-aLike invites you to celebrate Hannukah in a special way by taking part in 'InLight' and learning about the different holidays of light with our annotated sources for study and reference on the theme of light, hope, and peace.
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The Sigd Holiday, recognized by the Israel Knesset in 2008, is celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish community-Beyta Yisrael. Originally celebrated by Beyta Yisrael in Ethiopia- longing for reaching the land of Israel, the holiday takes on new meaning today, with many Ethiopian Jews having made the journey home.
Read about the special holiday, its meanings, traditions and how our IMPJ Congregations join in on the celebration. 
HUC Rabbinical Ordination
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On Thursday, November 16th, four new Israeli Reform Rabbis were ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's (HUC-JIR). This brings the total Israeli Rabbis ordained at HUC to over 100!
We invite you to get to know our newest Rabbis, from left to right: Yair Tobias, Leora Ezrachi Vered, Rinat Safania-Shwartz, and David Laor, by reading their profiles or by watching this video. We also invite you to read IMPJ President and CEO, Rabbi Gilad Kariv's speech, given during the Ordination. 
If you missed the ceremony, don't worry, HUC has taped it and you can watch it here (with English translation). 
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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
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During the 7th of Cheshvan, many Reform congregations in Israel and around the world, joined the Diaspora Israel Day celebrations. Take a look at just some of the wonderful celebrations held around the world.

Our main event at Kehillat YOZMA in Modi'in, was broadcast live and received over 1500 views from London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and more. 
One of the highlights of our YOZMA celebration was the lighting of a seven-branched menorah by six representatives who were born in each of the six continents, and lit the candles in honor of the Jewish communities in their home continent.

If you celebrated Diaspora Israel Day in your congregation we would love to hear about it! Please share your photos, videos, thoughts and comments by e-mailing them to domim@reform.org.il 
 
Save the date for next year's Diaspora Israel Day -
7th of Cheshvan 5779, October 16th 2018!
 
Meet Israeli Reform Rabbis:
Rabbi Tamara Shifrin
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"When I was 16, I visited the United States as part of a B’nai B’rith Noar LeNoar youth delegation. This was the first time in my life that I experienced egalitarian synagogues and a woman cantor. I come from a traditional family and I had a very strong bond with Judaism before the trip, but I came back with a greater love for Judaism and a dream for my professional  future: to become a rabbi".

Rabbi Tamara Shifrin is rabbi of Kehillat Achvat Yisrael in Rishon Lezion.