Tuesday's announcement that four non-Orthodox communal rabbis have received state-paid salaries represents a major step forward for religious pluralism in Israel. Although we continue to believe that the goal of full and equal recognition of non-Orthodox Jewry and their rabbis must be fulfilled as soon as possible, we welcome the long-overdue state compensation for Rabbis Miri Gold of the Gezer Regional Council, Stacey Blank of the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, Gadi Raviv of the Misgav Regional Council, and Benji Gruber of Hevel Eliot Regional Council. While the state continues to fund religious services, including rabbis' salaries, this funding must be provided on an equal basis for all denominations.
This d’var was given by Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Senior Vice President of the URJ, on Friday night at the 2013 URJ Biennial.
I grew up in Southern California, just a few hours from here, and believe it or not, I spent a chunk of my early teens surfing waves on the beaches of Orange County. A flat, calm Pacific Ocean spelled disappointment, even boredom.
But most weeks, there were
This Biennial is almost over but we’re just getting started. What a humbling responsibility you have placed on my shoulders; what a tremendous opportunity we have to shape the Jewish future with imagination, courage and commitment.