We at the URJ are working with you, our congregations, to instill a love of Israel, make it central to the identity of Reform Jews, and advance efforts toward ensuring that it is a nation of equality, tolerance, pluralism, and justice.
As Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut approach during this continued period of social distancing, you're invited to join the Reform Movement and our partners for any and all of the following online events in observance of the two holidays.
Earlier this month, I joined URJ president Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Director of Israel Engagement Rabbi Yehudit Werchow, and nearly 50 URJ leaders for an incredible four days in Israel on the URJ Board Leadership Mission. It was a working visit, and it's difficult to boil down such an intense trip into five highlights moments, but here goes:
Spending Shabbat in Israel is always meaningful, but on this trip, we could truly feel the impact of the Reform Movement. Friday night we attended services at IMPJ communities across the country, and during a Shabbat lunch with HUC-JIR students. Meeting dynamic, indigenous leaders we experience the strength of the Reform Movement in Israel - and could see it is growing stronger.
Throughout the trip, Israeli leaders affirmed the importance of Reform Judaism. It was clear through our meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit that the Reform Movement is taken seriously and greatly respected in the halls of government in Israel.