Hartman [email protected] 2020
Over four weeks between June 29 to July 23, 2020, in an unprecedented, free, month-long celebration of Jewish ideas, over 60 of our scholars from Israel and North America will address questions about citizenship, moral responsibilities and spiritual sustenance in a time of darkness and loss. Through lectures, discussions and seminars, we will consider the meanings of home and the transformations that we can shape out of this crisis.
Jewish learning is guided by questions
Here are some that are driving this year’s summer learning:
- What are our moral priorities and responsibilities in a time of crisis?
- Where can we find spiritual sustenance in this time of loss?
- How is the meaning of ‘home’ changing?
- How does transformation emerge in a time of pandemic, disruption, and catastrophe?
Join All Together Now as we throw open the doors of our Beit Midrash so that the Jewish people can engage with these challenges together through lectures, webinars, classes, and study groups.
NOTE: Registrants will receive email notification when sessions are available for sign up.
The Jewish people are facing important questions about citizenship, nationalism, democracy, and the societies in which we live. COVID-19 has already reshaped our attitudes about collective community and is also raising issues of theology, spirituality and social responsibility. Come, join us as we face those questions.
As you may be aware, Canada voted for a resolution at the United Nations last week that has been a major topic of conversation in the Jewish community. After a long-standing tradition of standing with Israel at the UN, Canada voted in favour of an anti-Israel resolution. This action was a surprise as it was the first time in over 10 years that Canada has voted this way. We understand there are many varied opinions surrounding this issue and we encourage you to use your voice to express them. The Israel Engagement Committee of Holy Blossom would like to bring to your attention a CIJA (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs) campaign, which we support. Please take a few minutes and follow this link (https://cija.ca/UN-vote/) to learn more and share your voice. This CIJA initiative allows you to express your view to the government by choosing from a number of variations and tailor your letter to match your own voice of concern.
Ultimately, these resolutions do not aim to solve the conflict. They only serve to isolate Israel on the international political arena. I am reminded just how important it is to show our support for the State of Israel. Not only by voicing your opinion in opposition to the UN vote, but all the more so, by engaging with Israel’s issues on the ground.
As a Reform Jew, I am particularly interested in taking action and influencing positive change in Israel. Just as it is crucially important for you to share your voice with the Canadian government in regards to the UN vote, likewise, it is incumbent upon all of us to be the agent of change we’d like to see in the world. I’d like to bring to your attention two initiatives that are working towards strengthening Israeli society.
The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)
The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) is the public and legal advocacy wing of the Israeli Reform Movement (Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism – IMPJ). Under Executive Director Anat Hoffman, the “IRAC’s core activities are focused on the following objectives:
- Fighting religious extremism and gender segregation in the public domain.
- Fighting racism and advancing a shared society between Jews and Arabs in Israel.
- Advancing religious freedom and dismantling the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate’s monopoly.
- Securing equal status for all streams of Judaism in Israel.”
To learn more about how you can get involved with the important work of the IRAC, check out their website at https://www.irac.org/about-irac.
Hiddush Vision Statement:
As Reform Jews, the fight for religious pluralism in Israel is crucially important. I invite you to read and sign the following Vision Statement put forward by Hiddush; a non-partisan research organization, led by Uri Regev, who is an Israeli lawyer, Reform Rabbi and the founding director of IRAC. Hiddush “believes that fully realizing the promise of religious freedom will strengthen Israel both as a democracy and as a Jewish state, and will bolster Jewish peoplehood and Israel/Diaspora relationships.” Since I arrived in Toronto, I have met with the Hiddush committee on several occasions and hope you will join me in signing this vision statement.
In the last few weeks, we have seen a violent anti-Israel protest at York University, a demonizing and isolating vote at the UN, and rockets fired into the land of Israel. We have the ability and the obligation to stand up for our homeland. I hope you will join me in supporting Israel by taking action now.
Dear Holy Blossom Members,
The Israel Engagement Committee of Holy Blossom Temple would like to bring to your attention a CIJA (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs) campaign which we support.
As you may be aware, Canada voted for a resolution at the UN this week that isolated Israel. This action was a surprise as it was the first time in over 10 years that Canada has voted this way.
Shabbat shalom, The Israel Engagement Committee,
Rabbi Zachary Goodman
Statement from CIJA:
The Government of Canada’s decision yesterday to vote in favour of an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. was received within the Jewish and pro-Israel community with great dismay.
For many of us, the reversal of fifteen years of Canadian opposition to the annual U.N. ritual of Israel-bashing represented far more than a let-down.
It contradicted explicit commitments made to maintain the principled opposition to the twenty annual resolutions whose sole purpose is to isolate and delegitimize Israel.
This about-face felt more like a betrayal.
That failure to honour those commitments was compounded by the violation of the principle on which they were made.
As prime minister, Paul Martin initiated the systemic changes to Canada’s votes. That process was solidified by Prime Minister Harper’s government and confirmed during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first term.
The policy was based on a recognition that the UN had been hijacked to advance an anti-Israel agenda and that regardless of the substance of any particular resolution, Canada had to signal its unwillingness to add credibility to that charade.
It was a principled position that the Trudeau government pledged to uphold…and it did, until yesterday.
With one vote, the Government of Canada has undermined both an important commitment and an important principle. And as a result, the faith of many in our community has been shaken. It will take significant effort on the part of Prime Minister Trudeau to rebuild the pro-Israel community’s trust and confidence.
CIJA will be requesting a meeting with the Prime Minister, during which we will ask for clarity and certainty regarding the intentions of the Government on the central issues on our agenda.
That meeting will, hopefully, begin the process of repair and healing.
In the meantime, we urge everyone to convey their own concerns and reactions directly to Prime Minister Trudeau.
Tomorrow, you will receive an Action Alert from CIJA.
It is important for the Prime Minister to understand that the views expressed by CIJA reflect broad support within our constituency.
If we want our voices to count, we must speak up.
|Joel Reitman||Jeffrey Rosenthal|
|Co-Chair, CIJA Board||Co-Chair, CIJA Board|
NFTY NEL’s Winter Kallah
Join together for an amazing Winter Kallah in Toronto, ON. Celebrate Shabbat with the community and experience fun teen-led programming, an exciting Saturday afternoon offsite and an energetic Spike concert Saturday night!
Contact Lisa for more information: [email protected]
October at the ECC!
We have enjoyed the joys and traditions associated with the fall Jewish holidays; Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah. We have experienced the holidays through all of our senses: the sweetness of the honey, the sounds of the shofar, the waving of the lulav and the smell of the Etrog, the beauty of the Torah, the Aron HaKodesh and the Ner Tamid. We love when Rabbi Jordan and Rabbi Zachary visit our program and engage with the children in meaningful ways. Just as we begin reading the Torah from the beginning once again, Holy Blossom ECC is the beginning of Jewish learning for our students. We hope it marks the beginning of life-long learning and love of Torah and Jewish values.
We welcome our ShinShiniyot – Maayan Gean and Lior Cohen – two lovely women will join us for the 2019-2020 school year. We are honoured to host them.
We are very excited to announce that CA Italy 2020 registration is live and has launched to the public! Join us next summer for an unforgettable Jewish Musical Journey through Rome, Florence and Venice from June 22 – July 2, 2020.
For those of you who have joined us on previous missions to Israel, Poland, Germany and Spain we need to say very little about how amazing these trips have been. For those thinking to join us for the first time let us just say that the Cantors Assembly Missions are filled with song, joy, emotion, learning from renowned scholars, camaraderie and fun. Each journey is an experience that participants, laity and clergy, Jews and travelers of other faiths, hail as a once in a lifetime trip. Let us help you if you have questions or details that need to be worked out. We expect to be filled very quickly to capacity so register early through the link below or print out the registration attached below. You will find the flyer, registration form and itinerary as of today below. You can also click on this link: https://secure.ayelet.com/CA2020Italy.aspx
Please do not hesitate to contact either of us with any questions or concerns.
Beny and I look forward to hearing from you.
Hope and Beny
The tour includes:
- 9 nights in Delux Plus accommodations
- Jewish music with an operatic Italian flare, featuring the soaring voices of the Cantors Assembly
- Exploring Italian history through a Jewish prism, with scholarly presentations throughout by Stephen Berk
- A gondola ride through Venice, visiting Rome’s old Jewish Ghetto in the Trastevere area, meeting the director of the new Jewish Museum in Ferrara and touring the gorgeous Duomo of Florence
- Group flights coming in August 2019
Guatemala: Brewing Justice
March 8 – 16, 2019
The world is changing, help change it for the better. Join Holy Blossom and Operation Groundswell for a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Contact Lisa Isen Baumal or Rabbi Helfman for more information
Register by August 31, 2018 and get $100 off trip cost