End of WUPJ/Arzenu Solidarity Mission to Israel – Statement

As the central hub of the Progressive Jewish worldwide network, the WUPJ in partnership with Arzenu gathered a diverse group of 20 leaders from North America, South America, Europe and Australia — rabbis, cantors and leaders of congregations, Tamar, Netzer, and our global executive board to travel together to Israel to participate in a mission of solidarity and partnership. This mission is the embodiment of our Progressive Zionism, standing with Israel and engaging in direct dialogue as full partners in realizing the Zionist enterprise.

We learned from first-hand accounts about the events of October 7/Simchat Torah and the Iron Swords war, the incredible bravery of our soldiers, the tremendous organization of Israeli civil society, diplomatic efforts and geopolitical realities, Torah for our time from our scholars, and the healing spirit and activism that the IMPJ and its congregations contribute. We received many warm hugs and an overall sense of optimism and hope as part of the Jewish nation, a resilient and unified people in our determination to overcome tragedy and challenges both in Israel and in communities around the world that face antisemitism and anti-Israel propaganda. Our mission felt as a community drawing strength and seeking the Divine through prayer, song, and reflection. We also prayed with our feet with our brothers and sisters at the weekly demonstration for the release of the 136 hostages being held in Gaza.

We are leaving the mission feeling unified as a global community, prepared for the work ahead knowing we have each other’s support  – to educate our communities and serve as ambassadors for Israel, address anti-Zionism and antisemitism, work to bring all of the hostages home, advocate for truth in our wider communities in partnership and dialogue, continue to engage in healing and implement a working plan for raising the Progressive/Reform voice around the world in the governance of the Jewish people for building a pluralistic, democratic and thriving State of Israel.

Am Yisrael Chai! The Jewish People Lives!

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