Beit Polska – The Union of Polish Progressive Jewish Communities in Poland and the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ) are concerned about the Amended Act on the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation and some other Acts as passed by Lower House of Poland’s Parliament on […]Read More
Statement from Progressive and Reform Jewish Movement on Expulsion of Asylum Seekers from Israel
The World Union joins our regional partners, and members of our global Progressive movement, in issuing the following statement protesting the deportations of asylum seekers in Israel. You shall not wrong nor oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 22:20) We strongly urge the Israeli government to reverse its decision […]Read More
Kehilat Kedem – Synagogue libérale de Montpellier
Us and Them: Divide and Misrule – Shemot 5778
It just takes a few divisive speeches, a few divisive decrees – and the entire society is doomed, even if may take a while, even if it does not realise it yet. Our problem is not the ”Pharaoh who knew not Joseph”, but the modern Pharaohs who ”do not know” of this one, and what he did, and the price that his country eventually paid. Can modern political leaders learn from these lessons?Read More
[UKRAINE] Rabbi Calls for Urgent Action on Jewish Refugee Crisis
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, is calling for urgent action in response to “our forgotten refugee crisis”. Since the war in Eastern Ukraine began in 2014, 1.8m people have been forced from their homes by the fighting, including thousands of Jews from Donetsk and Lugansk.Read More
A New Beginning for Progressive Judaism in Italy
Sunday, October 15, 2017 was the beginning of what history will record as the day when Progressive Judaism in Italy came of age. Representatives from all four Progressive congregations in Italy (Beit Hillel in Rome, Lev Chadash and Beit Shalom in Milan,
and Shir Hadash in Florence) gathered in Florence to proclaim in one united voice: “Hineinu, Here we are”, and to elect a leadership team to direct the newly-established Federazione Italiana per l’Ebraismo Progressivo (FIEP) – the Federation of Jewish Communities in Italy.
The Torah portion this week is titled Noach. It covers from the time of Noach, through the narrative of the Tower of Babel and then it lists a series of names ending up with Abraham and Sarah. The greatest amount of space in this section, in fact several chapters are devoted to Noach and the Flood. I would suggest that there are two matters that are take home lessons in these multiple verses.
The first point is that when Noach is introduced to us he is termed “a righteous man” – in Hebrew a tzadiq. The Torah then says, he was blameless in his age.
Hundreds of years later, after the close of the Bible’s covers, the early rabbis pondered what this meant. Yes, he was righteous. Yet, they ask, was he truly righteous, or was he righteous only in comparison to his age? In short, would he be considered righteous today, or was he only the best example of a pretty miserable lot of people? Was the bar set so low that he looked good, or even very good, but his contemporaries were so awful that his righteousness did not set a very high standard?Read More
[HUNGARY] Where Eco Meets Israel in Hungary: A Special Event by Arzenu Hungary
A special event by Arzenu Hungary, the local Zionist organisation of the Reform movement, and the Israeli Cultural Institute was many months in the making. Erika and Tamas from Arzenu invited two outstanding presenters, educators from the unique Arava region of Southern Israel to offer a glimpse of the amazing intellectual capacity, wonderful green projects, research and entrepreneurship thriving in this wild and beautiful, remote desert landscape.Read More
Condemnation From Across our Global Movement: The World Union And Regions Respond to Netanyahu’s Comments on Reform Judaism
On September 19, while visiting New York to speak at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel of using their partnership in the Western Wall agreement as a clandestine way to gain recognition. The World Union, along with its regional affiliates, responded to his charges with the following statement.Read More
Then the telephone rang, and I heard the most heart-breaking news: the night before receiving some important examination results, the child of an old school friend had just taken their own life. When disease or adversity threaten our lives, we humans fight with such fortitude and tenacity. How could life have become so dreadful that this young person felt that the only way to deal with the pain was to make a permanent exit? How could they feel so alone and unheard? How could they choose death?Read More