7 Ways to Boost Your Congregation’s Engagement with Israel

Inside Leadership

7 Ways to Boost Your Congregation’s Engagement with Israel

Hands in shadow of sunset holding Israeli flags on sticks

Today is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), which means that Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) begins a week from tonight, just as Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) comes to an end.  

No matter our politics or feelings about what goes on in the Middle East on any given day, we are all ohavei Yisrael – lovers of Israel – who hold the country, the land, and her people close in our hearts. Here are seven ways to engage your congregation in observing and celebrating these holidays, especially this year, which marks Israel’s 70th anniversary.

  1. Hold an Israel Shabbat to provide a connection to Israel in your congregation. This new resource created by the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) and the Union for Reform Judaism includes special readings, prayers, poetry, activities, and other meaningful content designed to supplement liturgy in Mishkah T’filah, the newest Reform siddur (prayer book), and help your community celebrate Israel – at this milestone anniversary season and year-round.
  1. Share this “How Well Do You Know Israel?” quiz on your congregation’s social media accounts.
  1. Organize an Israel food festival featuring Israeli birthday cake, Turkish coffee ice cream, and other Israeli fare from ReformJudaism.org.
  1. Include books about Israel and by Israeli authors as part of your synagogue’s adult education and book club offerings. Consider A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman and The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot. Find reviews of many other relevant books on ReformJudaism.org.
  1. Visit the Israel Reform Movement’s new website to celebrate Israel@70. It includes resources for observing Shabbat T'kumah, April 13-14, which falls between today’s Yom HaShoah and next week’s Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut.
  1. Check out ARZA’s Facebook page to keep up with what’s happening in Israel’s Progressive community and among her supporters in North America.
  1. Follow ARZA on Twitter for updates, news, and to strengthen Israel engagement in your community.

Yom huledet sameach, Israel – happy birthday!

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the social network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Jane E. Herman , a.k.a. JanetheWriter, is the senior writer and editor at the Union for Reform Judaism. She is a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and holds a master's degree in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. She grew up at Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ, and now belongs to Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. A proud New Yorker, she loves books, fountain pens, social media, Words with Friends, mah jongg, and all things Jewish. She blogs at JanetheWriter Writes.

Jane E. Herman

Published: 4/11/2018

Categories: Israel Engagement
What's New
Rabbi Rick Jacobs at the Kotel (Western Wall)
Apr 17, 2018|Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Find More in The Tent

Learn more about this exciting new platform, where Reform congregational leaders connect with colleagues and peers who have similar concerns, interests and responsibilities.