יום ראשון 16 יוני 2019
Eye on the Target
For the past 10 years, Kehillat Bavat Ayin has suffered rage, hatred, ignorance and prejudice from the mainly Orthodox community surrounding them in Rosh HaAyin. But with Rabbi Ayala Miron leading them, the congregation has battled consistently, refusing to give up their right and desire to have their own synagogue building for worship, learning and community outreach.
And now, for the first time, a city-based Reform community will receive public funding to build a synagogue. Many fights with the local municipality and four court appearances have finally yielded a positive result for this growing congregation.
The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) has played a major part in this success. They launched a lawsuit against the municipality, claiming prejudice against the Reform congregation who, by law, are entitled to receive public funds.
The future home of Bavat Ayin will be built on a lot located on the border between an established neighbourhood and a new neighbourhood, where up to 17,000 new residents are expected to live, most of whom will be secular.
“Now there is hope!” said congregational chair Shlomo Harel. “We are a very flexible and accommodating community. Unlike the local Orthodox synagogues, Bavat Ayin welcomes people with different abilities to participate fully in congregational life.” Shlomo’s wife Orit added, “We are giving something valuable to people who are left out by the Orthodox community. We have made a real difference here in Rosh HaAyin”.
There is still a long road to go to getting the synagogue built, as new barriers are constantly being set in their path by local authorities.
“You have to be immune to the constant challenges”, says Shlomo. “It’s a marathon. If you can’t keep your eye on the target, you might be tempted to give up.”
Here at Temple Emanu-El we are inspired by our friends of Bavat Ayin who continue to nurture their growing, welcoming community in spite of the challenges. We look forward to worshipping with them again soon, our Sefer Torah laid to rest in their loving arms.