You have been reading the news from Israel. Here are the voices of our partners and official representatives on the ground.
From The Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ):[With recent decisions in Israel,] Netanyahu and his government have firmly stated that their loyalties lie not with Am Yisrael, but with a small ultra-Orthodox faction. The severity of these decisions has not gone unnoticed. Our Reform and Progressive friends and partners overseas have all come out against the decision. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, has canceled his meeting with Prime Minster Netanyahu stating, “The decision cannot be seen as anything other than a betrayal, and I see no point to a meeting at this time. We will make our arguments in the Supreme Court.” The World Union for Progressive Judaism [including its Chair and Holy Blossom Congregant, Carole Sterling] and ARZENU [including its Chair, Canadian Rabbi Larry Englander] asserted, “The sacred civil right ‘to live as free people in our land’ has been sold to maintain a weak political coalition. The unity of the Jewish people, a central pillar of Zionism, has been seriously harmed by yesterday’s decisions.”
In yesterday’s resolution of The Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky speaks of “partners from around the world, who care passionately about the unity of the Jewish people” he’s talking about us, he’s calling upon us.
The Jewish Agency for Israel The Board of Governors
June 2017 Jerusalem Tamuz 5777
Whereas the Jewish Agency for Israel, representing world Jewry through its constituent members, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod, is gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the liberation of the Western Wall and the founding of the Zionist movement in Basel 120 years ago; and
Whereas the Jewish Agency for Israel throughout its history has been the organization responsible for bringing olim to the State of Israel and connecting Israel and world Jewry; and
Whereas the proposed conversion bill that would cement the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly on conversion has the devastating potential to permanently exclude hundreds of thousands of Israelis from being a part of the Jewish people; and
Whereas we deplore yesterday’s decision by Government of Israel which contradicts the agreement reached with the Jewish Agency and other parties to establish the Kotel as a unifying symbol for Jews around the world, as stated: ‘ONE WALL FOR ONE PEOPLE’; and
Whereas the Government of Israel’s decisions have a deep potential to divide the Jewish people and to undermine the Zionist vision and dream of Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and Jabotinsky to establish Israel as a national home for the entire Jewish people; and
Whereas we declare that we cannot and must not allow this to happen and we are committed to mobilizing our constituencies for their continued support of the people and state of Israel;
Therefore, be it resolved that
- We call upon each Member of the Knesset and all elected public officials to take all necessary action to ensure that these dangerous and damaging steps are halted; and
- We will continue to build a broad coalition of Israelis, together with partners from around the world, who care passionately about keeping our people united and who are committed to the unity of the Jewish people; and
- We call upon the Government of Israel to understand the gravity of its steps and reverse its course of action accordingly.
Natan Sharansky, Chair of the Executive
Charles Horowitz Ratner, Chair of the Board
Michael Siegal, Chair Elect of the Board