In May 2017, Russian-born Rabbi Alona Lisitsa presented ten conversion candidates from Spain and Portugal to the European Beit Din in London. The fi rst female Reform Rabbi in Israel to be appointed to a religious council, Rabbi Lisitsa’s comprehensive conversion course, which includes on-site meetings and counsel, has been attracting individuals interested in Judaism since its launch in May 2014. […]
[POLAND] Statement by Beit Polska and the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ) Relating to the Polish Holocaust Law
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 […]
[BELARUS] Honoring International Holocaust Day Beit Simha Hosts UN and EU Dignitaries and Jewish Leaders
On the eve of the Holocaust International Remembrance Day, the Sandra Breslauer Center for Progressive Judaism “Beit Simha” hosted commemorative events dedicated to the day which was launched worldwide in 2005 by the decision of the UN General Assembly.
2017 was a significant for Netzer Olami. As a movement that’s been actively engaging youth in Reform Judaism and Zionism for more than thirty years, our snifim are reporting growth and vibrancy in responding to the changes taking place across the Jewish world. Read our annual review here.
[FRANCE] Statement from the Assembly of Liberal Judaism (AJL) Regarding Attacks on Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur
The Assembly of Liberal Judaism (AJL) of France expresses its full solidarity with Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur in the face of attacks, insults and threats against her in social networks. We denounce all the words of hatred and foolishness of these attacks, and ask the whole Religious or community leaders to act in a clear manner […]
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?
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?
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.
In Ki Tavo, we join the Israelites on a journey towards a special location, to be chosen by God, in the land in which they were going to settle. They would bring a vat filled with the first fruits to the Cohen on that spot, to be laid before the altar of God, and recite a declaration, seen in verse 5 of our sidra, in words that might be familiar to you, “arami oved avi…a wandering Aramean was my father.” We also recite those words at the beginning of the maggid, the lengthy section of the haggadah, when we sort of tell the story of pesach.