…Because I am not a citizen of the State of Israel, do not pay taxes or send my children into the military, and because I respect the democratic right of Israelis to determine their own future, I am considering anew what I personally can do from America to help Israelis who believe as I believe in a progressive, Jewish and democratic Israel to fulfill the vision of a democratic and Jewish state as articulated in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
For my complete blog at the Times of Israel – see https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/putting-our-money-where-our-values-are-after-the-israeli-elections/
Last evening I participated on a panel at the American Jewish University with moderator Rabbi Elliot Dorff and with fellow panelists Rabbi Sharon Brous and Rabb Elazar Muskin in a conversation between rabbis of different religious streams (Reform, Conservative/non-denominational, and Orthodox) that, if not checked, can tear apart the fabric of the American Jewish community.
The three of us panelists represent similar and dissimilar approaches to what we believe is appropriate for rabbis to discuss on the bima and within the synagogue setting. We didn’t always agree – in truth, at times we disagreed substantially.
For my full statement and a link to the discussion, go to my Times of Israel blog at https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/politics-on-the-pulpit-is-there-a-line-and-where-do-you-draw-it/
After my last post, a reader asked how contributing to the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), and J Street can help Israel remain pluralistic, democratic, and just.
I answer this question on my latest blog at the Times of Israel – see https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/follow-up-2-american-zionist-organizations-liberal-american-jews-can-support/
As Israel prepares to go to the polls, it is likely that PM Netanyahu will form the most extremist right-wing government in Israel’s history. His pledge over the weekend to annex the West Bank and foreclose the possibility of a two state solution thus compromising the Zionist dream of a Jewish majority democratic state in the Land of Israel ought to provoke despair in the hearts of every lover of the Zionist dream and enterprise.
There are two ways for liberal American Jews to support the liberal democratic Jewish State of Israel that we believe in. First, we need to work with groups on the ground in Israel that support pluralism, human rights, a shared society, and Israel’s democratic institutions. The Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) is the counterpart to the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). Through ARZA we Reform American Jews must give our full emotional, financial, and political support.
For the complete blog – go to Times of Israel at https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/2-american-zionist-organizations-that-liberal-american-jews-can-support/
The New York Times today (April 5, 2019) reviews the spread of anti-Semitic hate around the world. How ought we Jews to respond? That’s the perennial question we ask ourselves.
See my blog at the Times of Israel – https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-year-of-anti-semitic-anti-zionist-and-anti-israel-hate/
Mika Almog is Shimon Peres’ granddaughter – her video, here in English but she made one in Hebrew as well, is a direct challenge to PM Netanyahu which she calls “Bring it on!”
It is 3 minutes and reflects not only her disgust of the Prime Minister and his racist egotistical politics, but the desire of so many Israelis to chart a new future with a new Prime Minister.
Watch it and share it with your lists.
Anyone who knows Congressman Adam Schiff recognizes the quality of the man, his intelligence, dignity, integrity, and seriousness as a public servant. Modest, refined, distinguished, thoughtful, and professional – these are the adjectives that immediately come to mind when I think of him.
See my blog at The Times of Israel – https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/in-defense-of-congressman-adam-schiff-against-an-immoral-president/
Rabbi David Teutsch, who shares the co-chairmanship with me and Rabbi Andrea London of the J Street Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet, has written an authoritative piece that will appear in the Times of Israel detailing how the extreme right-wing is the greatest anti-Semitic threat and NOT the extreme left wing. Though there are concerns about a growing anti-Israel sentiment on the left, these people are not violent. The right wing is.
David shows us why and is to be complemented.
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is Senior Rabbi of the Stephen S. Wise Free Synagogue in New York City. He was interviewed in the Jerusalem Post.
This interview given in advance of the Prime Minister’s visit and the AIPAC conference is must reading.