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Rabbi Noa Sattath

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For the first time in Israel's history, a woman can apply for the position of Knesset Rabbi.

The primary job of Knesset Rabbi is supervising the kashrut of the Knesset's cafeterias and answering questions of halacha (Jewish law) as they arise. Until now, the position required a certificate of rabbinic ordination from the ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. The current rabbi is retiring in a few months, and the job was posted to find his replacement.

As always, the requirements included having received an ordination certificate from the Chief Rabbinate. Because women and...

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Hand giving a peace sign and painted to match the Israeli flag which is waving in the background

Fifty is a number with immense significance in the Jewish tradition. Leviticus 25 teaches us that every 50 years we have a Jubilee year, when we release all slaves and return all ownership of all land. It is a radical commitment to freedom from slavery and oppression.

This year we mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, and we are faced with a complex reality. Israel has grown into a strong and remarkable society. We have seen the growth of Jewish pluralism and the organized Reform Movement, which barely existed in Israel 50 years ago. We have seen leaps forward in the...

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Closeup of the rainbow colors on a pride flag

Imagine being told that a landlord might rent you an apartment that has been sitting empty for months, but only if someone better doesn’t eventually come along. You would probably feel insulted and demoralized, like a second-class citizen, especially if “better” was code for white, male, non-disabled, or something similar.

That is how it is for lesbians and gay men in Israel who want to create families through adoption.  I’m not talking about second-parent adoptions, where one half of the couple is a child’s biological parent and the second half of the couple wants to be legally...

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airmail envelopes

Greetings from Jerusalem.

Like many of you, we here in Israel are waiting to see what signals will be sent from today’s meeting between our two leaders – President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu – later this week. Regardless of the outcome, we are not going to let growing incitement and discrimination remain the new normal in Israel.

While we wait, we at the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the legal and advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, will continue fighting for the rights of non-Orthodox communities in Israel, Jews-by-...

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Aeriel view of Jerusalem skyline

One of the defining questions of Jewish peoplehood in our time is: “Who is a Jew?” Recently, members of the Israeli government have been introducing legislation that would rollback many of the basic rights we have won over the past decades. The most recent target is the the right of Reform and Conservative converts in Israel to be recognized as Jews.

Fifteen years ago, we at the Israel Religious Action Center filed a lawsuit demanding that people converted by Reform and Conservative rabbis in Israel be recognized as Jews and be granted Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return....

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