ARZA Canada, strengthening ties of Reform Jews to Israel

ARZA Canada is an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism and its Canadian Council. We are a member organization of ARZENU, the International Association of Reform Zionists, and the Canadian Zionist Federation. With over 6,000 members, our mandate is to connect with Reform communities throughout Canada, foster connections with and strengthen our ties to the Reform Movement in Israel, and work to realize the vision of Reform Zionism.


 



ARZA Canada
Chag Sameach 
With spring's arrival comes the preparation for Pesach. Most of us will be preparing to gather with family and friends around a seder table for the telling of the Passover story and a ritual-packed feast. The family-oriented tradition of commemorating the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt reminds us that we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained.

Today freedom means different things to different people. In Israel today, there is a fight for a different kind of freedom. Freedom to choose how to be Jewish. 
We are fighting for the character and the soul of Israel. We are fighting against the threats to the stability and democratic character of Israel. It is not a fight of left vs right but of liberal vs illiberal. 

As Reform Zionists, we want to ensure that Israel is a place that embraces Jews of all backgrounds and all streams in a pluralistic and egalitarian democracy.
 

To see more of this month's Newsletter, please click here.
 


 

Listen to Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Progressive and Reform Judaism, speak passionately about Reform Judaism in Israel.

Rabbi Kariv speaks passionately about the Reform Movement in Israel.

Posted by ARZA Canada on Thursday, November 12, 2015

ARZA Canada Condemns Im Tirtzu Incitement Video as a Dangerous Threat to Israeli Citizens’ Security and Civil Rights; Calls for Jewish Communal Unity to Defend Democracy and Human Rights in the Jewish State

Responding to a video released from the extremist Israeli movement Im Tirtzu that incites viewers against four Israeli Non-Governmental Organizations -- declaring them traitors, “foreign plants” of European governments, and supporters of terrorism – ARZA Canada, the Zionist wing of the Canadian Reform Movement, issues the following statement:

         Im Tirztu cloaks itself in the language of Zionism but takes actions that strikes at the heart of the Zionist vision of a secure homeland for the Jewish people within a democratic state of Israel.

         ARZA Canada as a Zionist organization that embraces the diverse views of Canadian Reform Jews is adamant that the pre-requisite for any successful Zionist vision is a commitment to democracy and civil society in Israel.

         ARZA Canada unequivocally condemns Im Tirtzu’s dangerous incitement against NGOs and their staff. Im Tirtzu’s actions are a direct threat to Israel’s democracy and contrary to Israel’s founding vision to “foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants… be based on freedom, justice … ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex…guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture…

         Click here for the rest of the letter.


 

Why Join ARZA Canada?

 

Why Join ARZA Canada... because (a) your membership gives increased voting power in Israel at the World Zionist Congress and (b) your dues finance Israel engagement programs in Canadian Reform congregations and support Reform initiatives in Israel.

ARZA Canada is the Zionist organization of the Reform Movement, a volunteer led association that reaches out to all Reform Jews in Canada to help foster a better understanding of Israel and to support the Reform Movement in Israel. It is a vital part of our Movement as no matter what our political views are, Israel is a central part of our identity.

Reform Zionism can be interpreted to be many things to many people, even within our congregations. Now, 67 years after the establishment of the state, we need to work to support the democracy and to ensure that Israel is a place that embraces Jews of all backgrounds and streams in a pluralistic and egalitarian environment. Zionism today is not necessarily about making aliyah, but is about understanding what Israeli society is today and how it can be improved in the future.  It is also about visiting Israel to see what an amazing country it is.

ARZA Canada is part of the international Reform Zionist group called ARZENU. The strength in membership numbers in all affiliates from around the world has a direct bearing on the resources and political power that the Israeli Reform Movement has at the World Zionist Organization and other government agencies in Israel.  Proudly the Israeli Reform movement, now with 45 congregations, is achieving growing recognition and influence in Israel. But it needs our support, both financially and as partners.

Please make sure that you join ARZA Canada through your annual dues invoice, if available, or by direct registration on our website at www.arzacanada.org. Your dues of only $18 per person or $36 per family support both Israel education programs in Canadian Reform congregations and the work of the Reform Movement in Israel.

We, at ARZA Canada, need your support to help the Reform Movement in Israel (IMPJ) to  continue their effort to ensure Israel grows as a pluralistic and democratic Jewish state, one that we as Reform Jews feel shares our values. We invite you to join us in demonstrating your active commitment to Israel and to the values of the Reform Movement in Israel.  Your membership is critical.

L’shalom

Miriam Pearlman, President

ARZA Canada


 

ISRAEL: WHAT CAN WE DO?

By Rabbi Yael Splansky, 

Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple

          Last summer’s Gaza War was an intense battle to protect the body of Israel; this summer has sparked an internal battle for Israel’s soul.  In June, Jewish terrorists set fire to the Galilee Church of Loaves and Fishes.  In July, a woman was arrested for carrying a Torah to the Kotel and David Azoulay, Israel’s Minister of Religious Services, questioned whether Reform Jews are Jews at all.  Early August brought news of murder.  One Jewish terrorist slashed his way through Israel’s Pride Parade, killing 16-year-old Shira Banki, while others set fire to the Dawabsha family home in the West Bank village of Duma, killing baby Ali and father Saad.

For the rest of this article, please click here.


 

 

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