We have “adopted” a “sister” congregation in Israel. Congregation Tzur Hadassah is a new Reform congregation, comprised of about fifty families. It is located just outside of Jerusalem. The rabbi is Stacey Blank and already we have exchanged videos and emails in our desire to learn about each other and our respective congregations.
While Reform/Progressive Judaism is not “officially” recognized in Israel, the number of Reform congregations has grown over the years, with Reform Judaism being an appealing alternative for many people who have rejected the Orthodox Judaism that is the “state” religion.
This Monday, March 27th we will be joined by two leaders of the Israeli Reform Movement at our 12:00 discussion session. I hope that you will consider joining us as we learn about the struggle for equality and pluralism in Israel, and as we learn more about our “sister” congregation.
My hope is that the people of both congregations will benefit from this relationship. Through videos, letters, and visits to the respective congregation, we will learn about each other and the challenges that we face in providing our people with a meaningful approach to Judaism, and an affirmation of the ideal of the “community of Israel.” Yes, we Jews are linked to each other through a common history, and through the values and ideals that we share.
Please come and be a part of this fledgling relationship. The truth is that we all have a stake in Israel’s well-being, and in the vision of an Israel where Reform Judaism, and Reform Jews, are accorded the same rights and recognition as Orthodox Judaism. Yes, there is something beautiful happening in Israel as Reform congregations emerge and grow, and we want to be a part of it.