ARZA Canada is the Zionist organization of the Reform Movement. It 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, over 65 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 environment. Zionism today is not only 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 can allow us to better understand what is happening in Israel especially as it relates to the Reform Movement. One way it does this is by subsidizing Israel programs in congregations across Canada. There are speakers available from Israel and from here, that will help educate congregants of any age group.
Support of the Reform Movement in Israel fosters social justice, equality, religious pluralism and values that are important to Reform Jews.
The main project that ARZA Canada has undertaken to help with the growth of our Movement in Israel is the funding of preschool programs.
There are currently over 50 preschool programs run by the Movement and they are the key to educating Israelis about the benefits and opportunities created by Reform Judaism. Preschools are opened in communities that don’t have any access to religion other than orthodoxy. Young families get to see that there is a way to embrace their religion in a modern way. Once they see this through the eyes of their children they then consider bringing this type of Judaism into their lives. There are over 40 congregations in Israel today and many of them started with a Preschool.