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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

Whats New?

Sivan 5778 Newsletter

‏יום רביעי ‏16 ‏מאי ‏2018

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Dear Friends,

"…and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "You have seen … [how] I bore you on eagles' wings, and I brought you to Me… [if you] keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth." (Exodus, 19; 3-5)

We live in a time of wonders. From advancements in sustainability and medicine, to agriculture and defense, we live in a time during which we see advancements so large that they may be inconceivable until they have already passed. Only then can we look back, in awe and wonder of what was wrought, and recognize the miracle. This Shabbat, the commemoration of such an event takes place – the holiday of Shavuot, when we celebrate the miracle of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. We remember that God freed us of the bonds of slavery, from the dust and the tears, and led us into the land of milk and honey: Israel.

Our history, the history of the Jewish people, is a long one. We received the Torah 3,330 years ago this coming Motzei Shabbat. In our recent history, too, we have so much to celebrate: 70 years of Israeli statehood, and 51 years of a reunified Jerusalem. As a Movement, we now count among us 50 Israeli congregations and initiatives throughout Israel. Dozens of our congregations and community initiatives will hold Shavuot Tikkunim - nights of learning, a central component of Shavuot celebrations. 

With Jerusalem Day just behind us, we also acknowledge the decision of the United States to relocate their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This is simply a recognition of what we already know: that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and of the Jewish people. While we rejoice in the decision, we at the same time pray for Jerusalem to be the true city of peace and that the peace process with our neighbors in restarted and reaches a positive outcome. We wish our Muslim friends a happy and peaceful Ramadan. It is heartbreaking to watch terrorist organizations like Hamas place civilians in harm's way at our border with Gaza while trying to send terrorists to attack Israeli settlements. While we decry the violence and are saddened by the loss of innocent lives, we do believe that Israel has every right to defend herself against attacks from outside forces.

In two weeks' time we will have yet another celebration – the IMPJ's 23rd Biennial Convention, themed "Between Liberty & Social Responsibility." I am overjoyed with the anticipation of seeing and sharing thoughts with close to 1,500 members of the Israel Reform Movement while welcoming an International Delegation of 70 guests from all around the world. It is truly a miracle that we can all come together, in Israel, so many years after receiving the Torah, to celebrate how far we have come
as a Movement and as "Am Yisrael".

We live in a time of wonders.


Rabbi Gilad Kariv





Save the Date:  June 1-2, 2018




Join us in celebrating Reform and Progressive Judaism in Israel at our 23rd Biennial! For the second time, the IMPJ Biennial will include an International Track, allowing our friends and partners from around the world to participate fully in our Biennial.

Share in a Shabbat weekend of engagement, learning, music, and prayer with fellow Israeli Reform congregants, leadership, rabbis and our friends and partners from around the world.

We are out of rooms for the Biennial hotel, but Single-Day registration (without hotel accommodation) is open till May 15th.

Happen to be in Israel at the beginning of June?
Come join us!






Rabbi Gregory Kotler officiates a Giyur ceremony at the 2016 Biennial

The IMPJ this month has updates on two of the most pressing public affairs that we are focused on. The first is the pending legislation regarding Giyur (conversion). The IMPJ and IRAC are opposed to any legislation that restricts the current interpretation of conversions recognized by the State of Israel. Additionally, the IMPJ and IRAC oppose any legislation that limits the rights of Jews, in the Diaspora or in Israel, as they deal with matters relating to Israel. the legislation in question would give the Orthodox Rabbinate the power to dictate the terms of the divorce process for those married in civil ceremonies, in addition to ones performed by the Rabbinate.

We reiterate our displeasure at the attempts to strengthen the grip of the Orthodox Rabbinate over all Jews, in Israel and around the world, and we will continue to take a stand against any legislation that seeks to tighten those constraints.

Read more about these issues, including comments by Rabbi Gilad Kariv, in the link below:



Spotlight on "Yachdav" - The Jewish Peoplehood Education Center



Butterflies: Coloring the Memories


On Yom HaShoah, 65 classrooms took part in the IMPJ & Yachdav's activity "Butterflies: Coloring the Memories". The purpose of the project is for 1.5 million butterflies to be colored, so that each child who perished in the Holocaust will be remembered as a human being who had hopes and dreams of freedom.

Click on the link below to read more about the program:


Celebrating Israel at 70 with "70 Years of Israel: An Interactive Game"



The IMPJ's Peoplehood Education Center ("Yachdav") routinely creates innovative, experiential programming and curricula for the Movement.As part of our Yachdav partnership between schools in Israel and school abroad, we created an interactive game package for Israel 70th birthday. The package includes the following:

  • "70 Years of Israel" - an interactive game in which the participants go through stations in order to answer questions about Israel, by scanning QR codes and and watching videos made by the Israeli Yachdav classes.
  • A "Go Fish!" game about Israel
  • Stickers
  • A coloring book about Israel's 70th birthday

For more information about Yachdav, or how to get the package, please click the button below to contact Reut Noyman, Director of Yachdav - The Jewish Peoplehood Education Center.




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. 


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Holidays and Events 

'They Wouldn’t Have Converted Ruth'

Thoughts for Shavuot in Israel, by Rabbi Prof. Dalia Marx




"It was not theological conviction or religious fervor that led Ruth the Moabite to declare to her mother-in-law: “Your people shall be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:15). It was her authentic desire to join Naomi’s people and way: “For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I shall lodge” (ibid.). If this young widow had lived among us today, it is reasonable to assume that the harassment faced by those who wish to join our people would have pushed that young widow away. And so the Jewish people would have lost the great-grandmother of King David and his line – from which, according to tradition, the messiah will stem."

Read the full article by Rabbi Prof. Dalia Marx:










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