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By Rabbi Yael Splansky.

Some lovers of Israel feel Diaspora Jews must not meddle into the politics of Israel.  This opinion comes from deep respect for Israel’s sovereignty as a nation and also from pride, as loyal citizens of Canada, who recognize the rites and boundaries of citizenship.  However, the penultimate paragraph of Israel’s Proclamation of Independence declares:  “Our call goes out to the Jewish people all over the world to rally to our side in the task of immigration and development and to stand by us in the great struggle for the fulfillment of the dream of generations – the redemption of Israel.”

I don’t know of any other country, which includes in its founding document a call to Diaspora communities for help in shaping its future.  This speaks to the unique and treasured relationship between The State of Israel and World Jewry.  True, we do not have a vote, but we do have a voice, and we are duty-bound to use it to express our loyalty to as well as our concern for The State of Israel.

This recent New York Times article is a good summary of where the conversation on Conversion and the Kotel stands today.

I invite you to thank Israel’s Consul General Galit Baram for her clear support.  She has heard our concerns and made them known in Jerusalem.

The Consul General’s office makes it easy to write to her, to give her more material to deliver to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

With CIJA’s help, more than sixty Canadian Rabbis – Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox – have written a strong letter accusing the Prime Minister of threatening the unity of the Jewish People.  It is a rare example of united activism among the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus.  We invite you to add your signatures to it.

We rightly do not have a vote in Israel; but we do have a voice.  We must lift up our voices at this time when the Jewish character of the Jewish State is being tested.

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