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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

Whats New?

A Pesach Message from Rabbi Gilad Kariv, President & CEO of the IMPJ

‏יום חמישי ‏18 ‏אפריל ‏2019

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"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."

Dear Friends,

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.
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Just prior to Pesach we began a new initiative to work more closely with French-speaking Olim, and we will be holding public Seders in major cities throughout Israel in Hebrew, English and Russian. These efforts are part of our longstanding commitment to reach out to all sectors of Israeli society. Another name for Passover is "Chag Ha-Aviv" – a festival celebrating springtime as Israel begins to bloom. Just like these perennial blooms, we once again reaffirm our mission to fight for religious pluralism and equality in all spheres of Israeli life. 
Over the past year, the groups in Israel that are virulently opposed to our existence have visibly increased their invective, criticism and vitriol. This proves to us that they feel threatened by the fact that more and more Israelis are "voting with their feet" for an open, egalitarian and progressive Judaism: Reform Judaism in Israel. I believe that we are succeeding.

On behalf of the leadership, staff and congregations of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, I want to wish you and your family a Chag Pesach Same’ach – a happy and meaningful Passover. I want to take this opportunity to thank you again for your partnership, friendship and support, without which none of what we do could be accomplished.

Chag Same’ach, 
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Rabbi Gilad Kariv – IMPJ President & CEO
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