"אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, עוֹמְדִים עָלֵיֽנוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנֽו והשם מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם."
"And in each generation, they rise up to destroy us, and Hashem saves us from their hands."
This past week, on April 9th, Israelis all over the country celebrated our democratic rights by voting for the 21st Knesset. Though the results were not necessarily the sea change in Israeli politics we all had hoped for, it is still important to recognize that we voted and made this choice. That fact in and of itself reflects the power that we have as active, engaged citizens in the only democracy in the region. We must continue in our mission to utilize the power of the Israeli people to influence and steer the course of Israel's future as a Jewish democracy that is open and accessible to all streams of Judaism and all walks of life, where people of all Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds feel welcome and free to live and practice as they see fit.
On Passover, we are commanded to remember the story of our exodus from Egypt and to always remember that we were once "strangers in a strange land" as it was promised to Abraham in his covenant with God (Genesis 15; 13-14). Indeed, in the Book of Exodus, it says: “And you shall not mistreat a stranger, nor shall you oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22; 20). We must take this verse and apply it to our lives. With it as our guide, the IMPJ continues to work on behalf of all groups in Israel, regardless of race, religion or culture.
Over the past year, we have continued working to make the Kotel, the holiest site to the Jewish people, a place where all can worship according to their beliefs; we have reinforced our push towards an Israel where non-Orthodox conversions are recognized; we have reached our goal of establishing 50 Reform congregations throughout Israel by 2020; and we have continued to fight against injustices in Israel.