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.
Preparing for the Chagim: Elul 5776-September 2016
Last week, Israeli students all across the country began the new school year. We are very proud of the fact that hundreds of these students began, or returned to IMPJ-affiliated schools in Jerusalem, Haifa, Modi’in and Holon, as well as other cities throughout Israel. In addition to our preschools, kindergartens and schools, which educate through a liberal Jewish lens, there are an even greater number of Israeli public schools that use IMPJ-written curricula. These curriculum programs are taught alongside all other subject matters, and provide the students with a progressive Jewish framework through which to understand topics such as gender equality, civil rights, social justice and more.
Additionally, this year, a greater number of schools in Israel will participate in the “Yachdav” – School to School Partnership Program. Through “Yachdav”, Israeli students and students around the globe share experiences, learn about each other’s cultures and develop a sense of Jewish peoplehood – a commitment to Judaism worldwide. We invite your congregation or school to be part of this important project. Contact “Yachdav” to learn more.
As we welcome the new school year, we also bring in Elul – the month of Slichot. Elul, the last month on the Jewish calendar and that which precedes Rosh Hashanah, provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the past year, clear the air with people whom we have hurt, atone for the other wrongdoings we committed and prepare for a new year, filled with new opportunities. Stay tuned for updates on the multitude of services and holiday events planned at IMPJ congregations next month. If you are planning to be in Israel during the High Holiday season, please let us know; we would love to host you at our congregations.
Finally, as we prepare for the new year, we continue our efforts in the public arena. Unfortunately, we have still not received a commitment by the government to follow through on the Kotel agreement, nor has the Mikvaot issue been resolved. Go on ourwebsite to learn more about these and other issues.
Wishing you a successful school year and meaningful Elul.
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Last May, I had the privilege of attending two inspirational events with the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism. I went both as a lay leader of my own congregation Temple Sinai of Toronto, and as President of ARZA Canada. I returned home with a stronger sense of mission and a great feeling of inspiration. I was welcomed as a friend, as a partner, and as a supporter. I felt very connected to the leaders, to the people and to the mission. Both experiences reaffirmed my belief "the more personal, the more powerful". To read more, please click here.
Rabbi Kariv speaks passionately about the Reform Movement in Israel.Posted by ARZA Canada on Thursday, November 12, 2015
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.
Miriam Pearlman, President