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How ARZA Canada works with Israelis to promote equality

The Board of ARZA Canada recently engaged in an exercise about the language we use when we think about Israel.

At the top of the list of things that make us feel connected to Israel are: History, Family, Heritage, Roots, the Land

The things that make us feel frustrated about Israel are:  Politics, Extremism, Racism, Intolerance, Ultra-Orthodoxy

What can we do about these things that frustrate us about Israel?

When we support our Reform colleagues in Israel, we support the work of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).

IRAC’s mandate is to secure civil rights for a just and egalitarian Israel based on Israeli law and Jewish tradition:

  • Advancing freedom of and from religion
  • Ensuring state recognition and equal status for Reform and Conservative Rabbis, synagogues and institutions
  • Advancing equality in the public sphere
  • Advancing racial equality and combatting hate
  • Strengthening Israel's democracy
  • Protecting the rights of converts and immigrants to become Israeli citizens and enjoy equal rights


For many Israelis, the only rabbis they have seen or met are men.

But in Israel's Reform Movement, female rabbis are becoming more numerous and influential.

In fact, almost 60% of Israeli Reform rabbis are women, and two-thirds of the rabbinic students enrolled today in the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion are female.

Watch the story of Rabbi Galit Cohen-Kedem, spiritual leader of Kehillat Kodesh v’Chol in Holon - how she is breaking stereotypes and energizing her congregation and her community.


Celebrating our Partnerships in Jewish Peoplehood

Celebrating Jewish holidays with friends in Israel has become a highlight for Canadian Reform congregations who have a partnership with a Reform congregation in Israel. Through virtual connections, congregations build bonds of friendship and mutual support. These partnerships benefit the members of both congregations, through sharing of rituals, special moments, conversation, and personal connections.

These partnerships are created with the help of the DOMIM department of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ).

Below is an example of a very successful joint program between two partners that was held recently to celebrate Tu B’Shvat. City Shul in Toronto and Kodesh v’Chol in Holon came together for a special Seder.

If you are interested in starting a partnership between your congregation and an Israeli congregation, please contact:

Cheryl Englander, VP Special Projects: cherylenglander@gmail.com


Skilled Volunteers for Israel

You can tutor English to young adults seeking to improve their English for professional purposes.  Skilled Volunteers for Israel’s new program, English B’Yachad (English Together) connects you with an Israeli student for online, one-on-one English language tutoring.

From ARZA Canada member Jeff Denaburg:  

I've become friends with a charming, young IT professional in Israel. In our weekly zoom discussions we talk, in English, on a variety of topics - his family and friends, challenges at work, life in Israel during Covid, celebrating holidays, his views on politics and other hot topics, and his personal history, which includes the long trek from Ethiopia to Sudan and then to immigration in Israel. His stories are fascinating.

Thanks to English B'Yachad I have a new Israeli friend and a window on life in Israel.


Wishing you and your families health, strength and courage in these challenging times.



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