The Holocaust is an important topic not only in Jewish history, but in the history of humankind. The topic is disturbing, and it is appropriate to feel uncomfortable and upset by the stories, the facts, and especially the images.
URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs on Charlottesville: We Condemn Neo-Nazi hate speech and call for an end to violence; but “Moral Equivalence of violence and hate “on many sides” is troubling. We commend the opening of President Trump’s statement condemning the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” but are deeply troubled by the moral equivalence evident in President Trump’s statement today.
vid Grossman, the Israeli author and activist, whose books, essays and public advocacy have inspired a generation, will receive Reform Judaism’s highest honor, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 2017 Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award. The award will be presented at the 74th URJ Biennial in Boston in December 2017.
Senior leadership of the Reform Movement, the largest movement in Jewish life, sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to unnecessary and demeaning body searches imposed on female rabbinic students at the Western Wall in Jerusalem:
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
We are writing to express our outrage and dismay about the humiliation of a cohort of Reform rabbinic students, all of whom are the future leadership of the Jewish people, at the entrance to the Kotel on August 23rd, Rosh Hodesh Elul.
Two of our female rabbinic students, who are spending their first year of studies in Israel, were stopped at the entrance to the Kotel. After they passed through a metal detector (which clearly indicated that they were not posing any security threat), they were asked to lift their skirts and shirts in a demeaning way, an action that completely defied the decisions the Supreme Court reached on this matter.
Today, the Israeli Supreme Court made an important statement by signaling that they are fed up with the Netanyahu government’s decision to “freeze” its own governmental decision forged in compromise with our Reform Movement and our allies. The court gave the Israeli government two weeks to come back with a counter argument to the court, an extremely short window that seems to imply great impatience with the government’s behavior.
The Wholly Jewish podcast from ReformJudaism.org explores what we all have in common as we live and balance complex and nuanced identities. It’s these varied identities that, when braided together, make us wholly ourselves – and “Wholly Jewish.”
In response to President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border of the U.S., Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions: “We believe that the President’s decision to declare a national emergency to build a border wall is ill-advised and should be revoked. We have consistently stated that the wall is a misguided response to the very real problems in our immigration system, including the real challenges of border security, which warrant comprehensive reform. Whether implemented through congressional or executive action, regular order or emergency declaration, the wall remains an irresponsible plan."
Rabbi David Saperstein, senior advisor, Union for Reform Judaism and director emeritus, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: “Today, we mourn the passing of Al Vorspan, former senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and director emeritus of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, who died on Sunday, February 17, at age 95. Vorspan, who worked tirelessly to found and strengthen the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., was one of the g’dolei hador, “great ones” of Jewish social justice work