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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

Whats New?

Adar 5778 Newsletter

‏יום שלישי ‏20 ‏פברואר ‏2018

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Dear Friends,

The Talmud tells us that “when the month of Adar arrives, we increase in joy”.

This joy is clearly celebrated throughout Israel, especially on the holiday of Purim, when the country turns in to one big celebration with parties, Megeillah readings, feasts, parades, and spreading of joy. On Purim we are commanded to do four Mitzvot: hearing the Megilat Esther, enjoying a festive feast, sending Misloach Manot (gifts of food to friends), and Matanot LaEvyonim (gifts to the needy).

The first three of these Mitzvot are widely celebrated and practiced in all sectors of Israeli society. Megillah readings are held throughout the country, family and friends gather together for Purim celebrations and readymade Misloach Manot are available in stores all over Israel.

It seems, however, that Israel’s cultural celebration of Purim forgets the last, and perhaps the most important, Mitzvah - Matanot LaEvyonim. On this day of joy and celebration, perhaps it is easy to forget those less fortunate then ourselves, which is why this Mitzvah holds such importance. When we are commanded to turn grief into joy, we must not only think of ourselvces, but of those who’s grief is unimaginable to us.

This Purim in Israel Matanot LaEvyonim holds a strong importance. There are nearly 38,000 Asylum Seekers facing forced deportation from Israel. At the end of last month the IMPJ released a position paper calling on the Government of Israel to withdraw from its present decision to deport Asylum Seekers to African countries while reaffirming Israel's right as a sovereign democracy to decide on its immigration policies. Last week we called on our Rabbis, congregations, and members to devote Shabbat Mispahtim and all Shabbatot this month to the discussion on this crucial issue, including planning on how to help. In the spirit of Matanot LaEvyonim let us all join together and stand up for those less fortunate for us, for the stranger in our land, as we are told in Exodus 22:20: “And you shall not mistreat a stranger, nor shall you oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."

During this month of Joy, let us help and spread joy to all those who seek refuge. Let us peruse a proper and proportionate plan consistent with Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state; with the sensitivity of Jewish tradition to the stranger and the refugee; and in accord with international law.
Rabbi Gilad Kariv 
The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism to the Government of Israel: “Deportation of asylum seekers goes against the core values of the State of Israel and Jewish tradition”.
The IMPJ urges the Israeli Government to withdraw its plan to deport asylum seekers to third countries in Africa. 

This month the IMPJ has called on its Rabbis, congregations and members to discuss the issue of the deportation of Asylum Seekers from Israel and how we can help.
Holidays and Events 
Purim & International Women's Day 
By chance or by fate, International Women’s Day has been set for March 8, which this year comes just a few days after Purim. This coincidence invites us to consider the connection between the two days and to celebrate the Hebrew month of Adar as a month of Jewish Feminism.

Read Article about the connection between Feminism and Purim, by Noam Geva - head of our New-Media Department.
Yom HaMishpacha - Family Day 
In Israel, instead of celebrating Mother's Day and Father's Day we celebrate Family Day - Yom HaMishapacha.  This day is celebrated on the 30th of Shevat, which is the Yahrzeit of Henrietta Szold, who was known as the 'mother' of the "Youth Aliyah".

Initially, when founded in Israel in the 1950s, the day was actually celebrated as Mother's Day, but over the years and with the growing awareness of celebrating the diversity of families and the acknowledgement of the role of the father in the family, this holiday, which is mostly celebrated by schoolchildren, is commonly dedicated to the concept of embracing all family types.
IMPJ congregations and pre-schools celebrate this special day with festive Kabbaalt Shabbat services and family oriented activities. 
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. 
Coming Soon -
IMPJ's Israel at 70 Website 
This coming month of Iyar (May 2018), Israel will be celebrating 70 years of independence. For this occasion, the IMPJ is developing a designated website, rich with materials and educational resources. 

In each of the coming months, we would like to share with you one of the articles or resources that will appear on this special website.
This month we invite you to explore some of the Israeli cartoons we have been collecting for a special on-line exhibition and study session - 'Sharpened Pencils: Seventy Years of Israeli Cartoon'.
World Union for Progressive Judaism -
Find a Community Application
Traveling overseas? Looking to experience Shabbat or holiday services with other, like-minded Reform, Progressive or Liberal Jews? 

The World Union for Progressive Judaism has launched an exciting new app that puts global Reform Judaism at your fingertips:Enter your destination city to discover a range of geographically-located Reform, Progressive, Liberal and Reconstructive congregations and communities nearby.

Easily find the nearest IMPJ congregation to you on your next trip to Israel! 

To download the app click the link below. 
Save the Date:  June 1-2, 2018