Hate Speech Graffiti Vandalizes Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra'anan in Ra’anana, Israel

The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) issued the following statement: On Thursday, November 24, 2016, Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra'anan in Ra'anana woke up to a shocking sight.

Overnight, hate messages were spray-painted on the congregation's building, including supposed Halachic orders on when one is allowed to murder, as well as knives with the names of Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) in North America, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, President and CEO of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and chair of Women of the Wall, written on them in red ink.

Hate speech vandalizes Beit Samueli – Kehillat Ra’anan Reform
synagogue in Ra’anana, Israel

Over the past year, Reform Jews in Israel have increasingly served as targets for hate speech and incitement, but today the problem reached a new level. Yossi Cohen, Director of Kehillat Ra'anan, who was the first to arrive at the scene, said: "Upon arriving this morning at my second home, Beit Samueli-Kehillat Ra’anan, I was horrified to find that once again Reform Judaism and Kehillat Ra’anan are being persecuted and attacked… the incitement against Reform Judaism in Ra’anana continues to escalate as this is the fifth time the congregational building has been spray-painted with hate speech – but seeing the knives was shocking and I am still shaking… I pray that the leaders of the incitement, among them leading rabbis, understand the consequences of their uncontrollable words.”

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, IMPJ President and CEO, responded: "Death threats and the vandalizing of a synagogue are the direct result of an unprecedented series of incitement against Reform Judaism over the past year led by leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis and politicians. We hope that this event serves as a warning for those people and reminds them how a disagreement should be handled. We will not be frightened by these threats and will continue promoting our activities at the Kotel, in the city of Ra’anana and in dozens of congregations spread across the country.

Death threats to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Anat Hoffman
vandalize the Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra’anan Reform Synagogue
in Ra’anana, Israel
öÆãÆ÷ öÆãÆ÷, úÌÄøÀãÌÉó  - Justice, justice you shall pursue. The IMPJ honors the right of all people to worship as they deem fit, while respecting each other in doing so. We will continue fighting these phenomena in the way we know best, by promoting religious freedom and tolerance and democracy all across Israel.”

For more about the incident, read this article in Ha'aretz.

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