In July 2018, 17 Jewish educators from the United States, Germany, Belarus, Israel and Czech Republic, came together in Jerusalem for the Bergman Seminar for Progressive Jewish Educators, run by the World Union Center for Leadership Development and Education.
The Nation-State basic law passed by the Knesset this week comes dangerously close to declaring Jewish superiority. We are grateful to those who lobbied the members of the Knesset, and are relieved by some of the amendments to the original drafts of the law; but we remain concerned that the bill gives special rights to Jews that are not guaranteed to all citizens of the State of Israel.
We are always excited to say hello and welcome bogrim, or graduates, who are traveling through Israel. But from time to time, we find ourselves gearing up for a special kind of welcome: opening our doors and hearts to Netzernikim who have made Aliyah. We see them in our Jerusalem offices and when we run […]
“Glad you’re here. We thought the world had forgotten us,” said Cacique José Barcelos, from the Botocudos tribe, in Vila do Areal, Espírito Santo. Cacique’s village was others destroyed in the environmental disaster which hit the entire Rio Doce in 2015. He tells the group of young adults who have come to restore and repair […]
The March 24 March for Our Lives coincided with the annual international Netzer Leaders Assemby (Veida), sponsored by ARZENU, KKL and WZO, where teen delegates from over 14 countries gathered to discuss the future of the Progressive Youth Movement. This year’s conference focused on Tikkun olam: As Reform Jews, does it require action or is […]
There seems to be a growing gap between Israeli and Diaspora Jews – whether the issue is controversy over the egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, or over the attempts of the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate to gain a monopoly over conversions, or over the growing racism among sectors of the population. Was there ever a time when our people enjoyed unity? And is there a way to achieve that state today? A commentary to our double Torah portion, Vayakhel-Pikudey, suggests that there was indeed such a time.
This Torah portion is known for its story of the Golden Calf, built when Moshe failed to return from the mountain on exactly the 40th day as expected. The people panicked, thought Moshe was dead, and that God had abandoned them. Aaron, ever the peace-lover, reasoned that the people needed a visible symbolic representation of God to reassure them. The People were not denying the God of the first commandment, but rather broke the second commandment prohibiting the building of idols. When Moshe returned with the tablets, he was indignant and smashed the tablets to show that the covenant between God and the Children of Israel had been shattered.
I have just returned from an amazing trip to the Caribbean with the World Union for Progressive Judaism. We visited congregations in San Juan, St. Thomas, Curacao, and Aruba, some of the oldest congregations in the Western hemisphere. We shared our stories, our music, and our prayers with each of these communities. As you know, […]
[On February 14th] the town of Parkland, Florida made the news because of a school shooting that left 17 people dead—most of them teenagers. There are now about 5 such shootings each month in America. Since 20 first graders were killed in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, there have been some 239 school shootings, taking 138 innocent lives, injuring and traumatising countless more. That is, since I’ve been with you here in Sydney, 240 school shootings have taken place in America, and many more at large public venues, like music concerts and night clubs.
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 […]