Reform Movement Responds to Israeli Religious Services Minister’s Disparaging Comments

Reacting to disparaging comments made about Reform Judaism by David Azoulay, the Israeli religious services minister, President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

It would be one thing if Minister Azoulay’s ignorant and myopic views of Reform Judaism were nothing more than this his own semi-coherent ramblings. The real danger is that he now sits at the cabinet table, and is in a position to turn those views into governmental policy. That is why we applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu for his unequivocal rejection of Minister Azoulay’s offensive comments about Reform Judaism. We appreciate the Prime Minister’s strong and welcome words, while noting that the time may well come soon when he is forced to make clear that Minister Azoulay has forfeited his right to be a member of the government. As we denounce hateful, divisive speech - and insist on accountability for those words - we also express grave concern about the government’s actions, such as the recent decision to repeal the conversion reform law passed by the previous government. The Reform Movement is committed to advancing justice, equality, and religious pluralism in Israel and around the world.