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It is with a great deal of sadness and some shock that I report to you that Kehillat NatanYa, our congregation in Natanya, was vandalized on the evening of Saturday, January 26.
The perpetrators climbed over the locked protective fence, damaged the garden, accessed the irrigation system, open a barred window, put a hose into the synagogue and turned on the water. The ankle-deep flooding was not discovered until about 14 hours after the attack. It was clearly a well planned attack. No arrests have been made so far.
The damage to the building and contents is extensive and the only positive news is that no Sifrei Torah were destroyed. Prayer books, furniture, flooring, sound equipment, the Rabbi’s prized guitar and many other items were damaged. The security fence must be repaired and the congregation now realizes that they need to invest in a complete video security system.
While ultra-Orthodox synagogues in Israel are government funded, Reform synagogues receive no government support. They are funded solely by their members and through support of the IMPJ. Let's help the members of Kehillat NatanYa overcome this tragic event.
I am appealing to you to please make a donation that will help restore the congregation. Tax Deductible Donations may be made by clicking here and writing “Natanya” in the message box.
We would like to provide our Canadian response quickly so please make your donation now.
Natanya is a coastal city just north of Tel Aviv. Here in Rabbi Edgar Nof’s words is some information about his congregation;
“Congregation NatanYa is celebrating 50 years of existence in a hostile environment and a hostile city. We succeeded the past 5 years to make wonders, from 1 to 2 Bar Mitzvah per year to 46 in 2017 and 72 kids in 2018. We converted to Judaism an average of 20 candidates per year (there are more than the 250 orthodox synagogues existing in the city, and supported by the city, all combined). We have a young, vibrant renewed congregation with an average of 50 people on Kabalat Shabat, pictures available in Facebook every week."
We are all aware that the battle for religious pluralism in Israel is a continuing one. But it is through the more than 50 congregations in Israel like this one, that the Israel Reform Movement is growing and making an impact on the ground.
We have a way to show some tangible support now. Please Donate by clicking here.
(Donations to Israel are made through the Canadian Friends of the World Union for Progressive Judaism)
Todah Rabah - Thank you
President, ARZA CANADA
Photos of Kehillat Natan Ya, after the flood
Garden hose used to flood the synagogue
Fence broken by the vandals
Synagogue floor under water
Kehillat Natan Ya on the internet
Facebook: Kehillat Natan Ya
Facebook: URJ post
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