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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

Whats New?

Tevet 5778 Newsletter

‏יום רביעי ‏20 ‏דצמבר ‏2017

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Dear Friends,

Chanukah is a time when we can truly celebrate all of the light that our congregations and programs are bringing to Israel. From Kehillat “Birkat Shalom” in Kibbutz Gezer, who held a special program for Olim from South America in Ramleh, creating mosaic hanukiyot (menorahs), to the Chanukah market in Kibbutz Lotan, held in partnership with Keren b’Kavod, and Candle lighting at Congregation “Ma’alot Tivon” in Kiryat Tivon with residents of the “Kfar Tikvah” senior living facility, these congregations and programs bring to life the miracle of Chanukah in its modern form, spreading light across Israel.
 
Just before Chanukah, we were afforded the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the light of Jewish Peoplehood at the URJ Biennial. In attendance at this year’s Biennial was the largest ever Israeli delegation, and the greatest attention to Israel-related matters in Biennial history. In his Shabbat D'Var Torah, URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs mentioned our mutual pride in the growth of the Israeli Reform Movement; as a recent poll showed, 7% of Israelis now identify most with Reform Judaism, doubling our presence in the past five years and bringing our values to every corner of Israeli society. Also in his remarks, Rabbi Jacobs pledged that over the next two years, the North American Reform Movement will invest more in Reform Judaism in Israel. We are grateful for the support and look forward to working with our partners around the world towards a more pluralistic and democratic Israel.
 
It is on that note that I invite you to take part in a celebration of Reform Judaism in Israel at our 23rd IMPJ Biennial, taking place June 1-2, 2018. This year we will be expanding our international track and look forward to sharing this joyous occasion with you. 
 
The Festivals of Light may be coming to a close, however we will continue the illumination of religious pluralism in Israel. The road is long, but the opportunity is great. The Promised Land is not reached in a day, but when it is, another miracle takes place.
 
Sincerely,
Rabbi Gilad Kariv 
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Save the Date - June 1-2 2018
 IMPJ BIENNIAL
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Join us in celebrating Reform Judaism in Israel at our 23rd Biennial!

Share in a Shabbat weekend of engagement, learning, music and prayer with fellow Israeli Reform congregants, leadership, rabbis and our friends and partners form around the world. 
We are excited to run for the second time, a special international track, with a variety of sessions in English and Russian.
The IMPJ at URJ Biennial 2017
At the beginning of December, an IMPJ delegation of around 40 Rabbis, staff, lay leaders and youth, participated in the Union for Reform Judaism's Biennial in Boston. Many of our delegates participated in and led engaging sessions about Reform Jewish life in Israel  including topics such as spirituality in music, the Kotel Crisis, women's role in public discourse, reclaiming Zionism, Egalitarianism in Israel and more. We were privileged to take part in several receptions which honored IMPJ change makers.
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Terry Hendin, congregant at Kehillat "Kol HaNeshma" in Jerusalem offers her Reflections on the URJ 2017 Biennial in Boston. "The Biennial experience allows each and every participant the opportunity to grasp that no matter how small or large, central or remote our congregations are all part of the Reform movement.  This unique opportunity for interaction between prominent or common lay leaders, renowned as well as newly emerging professionals, sharing their knowledge and experience is enlightening and refreshing...Noting the centrality and love with which Israel was constantly highlighted during the conference meant a great deal to all of us."
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Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, dedicated his Shabbat D'Var Torah to the discussion of Diaspora-Israel relations (World Jewry) and pledging an increase of support for the IMPJ. "My friends, leaders of this great Movement, this is not a moment for us to watch from the sidelines. Between now and our next Biennial, our North American Movement will double its financial investment in growing Reform Judaism in Israel. In the past seven years—our Israeli Reform Movement—the IMPJ—has doubled the number of Israelis who self-identify as Reform Jews, so now when we double our investment, we can continue to grow more rapidly our Israeli movement and its influence."
Yachdav Visits 
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Reut Noyman – Director of Yachdav, the Jewish Peoplehood Education Center, School-to-School partnership program, visited two partner schools in the US: The Temple in Atlanta and Shaaray Tefila in NYC.
The Temple’s 5th grade class partners with the Plamgin school in Megido, Israel. Reut led an activity about Israel and Chanukah in Israel. The students then received Chanukah gifts from their friends from the Plagim School. They were excited to learn about Hanukkah in Israel and to play with the Israeli Dreidel using ‘פ’ instead of ‘ש’. To conclude, they gathered together and sang Hatikvah.
Shaaray Tefila students partner with the Tchernichovsky school in Haifa Israel. Reut led an activity about Israel and the city of Haifa and the students also received gifts from their friends at Tchernichovsky School.

The Yachdav Jewish Peoplehood Education Center runs twinning programs between students in Israeli public schools and students in Jewish day schools and complimentary schools in the Diaspora. Through this program, Israeli and Diaspora students learn about Jewish Peoplehood, share materials and activities with their partner class, and participate in highly anticipated virtual meetings.
To learn more about the IMPJ's Yachdav program and how your Congregation or Jewish Day School can form a meaningful partnership with an Israeli class, contact Reut Noyman at reut@reform.org.il
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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. 
Visit to Houston Congregations
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Rabbi Ayala Ronen Samuels of Kehillat Tefillat Ha'Adam, Caesarea, visited the Reform congregations of Houstan, TX which were affected by Hurricane Harvey at the end of this summer, among them Congregation Shma Koleinu which is Kehillat Tefillat Ha'Adam's DOMIM partner congregation. 
Rabbi Ayala presented the congregations with small tokens of solidarity, on behalf of the IMPJ and project DOMIM a-Like.

We invite you to read Rabbi Ayala's powerful message regarding the growing importance of the connection between Israel and Diaspora Jewry.
Meet Israeli Reform Rabbis:
Rabbi Tamir Nir
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"When I was a rabbinical student, I visited a Reform preschool. The teacher showed us the “Jewish Corner” in the preschool – a small table with a few Kippot, a Kiddush cup, and some prayer books. At that moment, I decided that I would try to bring Judaism out of the corner. Judaism must move, influence, and shape all fields of life, rather than confining itself to ceremonies and rituals."

Rabbi Tamir Nir is the founding rabbi of Kehillat Achva Bakerem in Jerusalem.