ARZA Canada Newsletter
April  26, 2017
Upcoming Dates with Israeli Reform
Rabbi Benjie Gruber

Rabbi Benjie Gruber with Miriam Pearlman Consul General Baram,  &   Rabbi Michael Dolgin
Upcoming Events
Save the Date
Sunday April 30th Temple Sinai Presents
Like Smoke Above the Wind

Save the Date

May 8, 2017

Canadian Zionist Federation


Upcoming Events Israel

Join us in Jerusalem!
Discover 200 years of Zionist and Progressive milestones, while interactively exploring innovation in Progressive Jewish life and its impact on the future of Klal Yisrael, our Jewish peoplehood.

We invite you to save the date for Diaspora-Israel Day 5778 -
 October 27th 2017! 

For more information....

ARZA Canada  
"In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles."
Israeli Prime Minister 
  David Ben-Gurion
As we approach Yom Ha'Zikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israelis move from commemoration to celebration. Jews in the Diaspora may only be able to imagine the elation of Israelis' celebration of becoming an independent Jewish state. Yet we too experience our deep love and deep connection with Israel at this time. Israel is a very young country with both miraculous achievements and challenging social divisions.
ARZA Canada, as the Zionist arm of the Canadian Reform Movement, is dedicated to working to help Israel bridge these divides by actively supporting the Israel Reform Movement (IMPJ), which seeks to strengthen Jewish identity in Israel.
Reform congregations, from Nahariya in the north to Kibbutz Lotan in the southern desert, seek to bring Israelis closer to Jewish heritage and culture and to the values of pluralism, equality and humanism. With over 50 congregations across the country and growing, IMPJ is helping to build a Jewish and democratic State of Israel.
You can help by adding your voice and your resources. Click here to add your support to the Israel Reform Movement by making a donation to support their work.
ARZA Canada is a member organization. Be sure you have joined as a member or click here to join.
Yom Haatzmaut Sameach

President ARZA Canada
ARZA Canada
Israeli Scholar in Residence 

A message from 
Rabbi Benjie Gruber 



How does someone feel at the age of 69?  I do not know and will not know for 27 more years. How does the body feel at 69? How does the soul feel? 

How does the State of Israel feel as we are about to celebrate 69 years?   Who is the State of Israel?

Yom Haatzmaut is celebrated not so long after Pesach, Chag HaCherut [Holiday of freedom].  Cherut [freedom] and Atzmaut [independence] do not only rhyme, they are similar and very much connected.

We, those slaves coming out of Egypt, now have a Jewish State. We are independent and we must strive for freedom of religion, freedom of practice, speech and mind. We, who live in Canada and Israel, and enjoy freedom on a daily basis, must remember, freedom is always connected with responsibility.

I feel the more we know about our Jewish tradition, the more power we have to make the changes we, as Reform Jews, feel are needed. Knowledge is power. We must know what was done before us, if we wish to make a change of it.

Israeli society needs Reform Judaism. Reform Judaism must make itself as Israeli as it can be so more and more Israelis can feel Jewish, can feel Judaism has what to offer to them, not as something we enter a building to practice, but rather something which is part of day to day life on the street, in school, at the community center, and in every aspect of life.

From ancient Egypt comes an axiom, "As above, so below". It suggests that the microcosm and the macrocosm are tightly intertwined. Not only is balance an issue for each individual, it is necessary for the entire world and of course in the Jewish State about to become almost 70.

This is what ARZA Canada and the IMPJ are offering Israeli society, a Judaism of freedom, fit for Israeli society which benefits us, Reform Jews in Canada too.

Happy Israeli Reform Independence to us all.


Join us in Toronto for the biennial 
ARZA Canada Kallah

Israel's female heroes
Israelis are preparing to celebrate Yom HaZikaron (remembrance day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (independence day). 
One of the themes of Yom HaAtzmaut is recognizing Israelis who have made important contributions to their country.  Here are female heroes of Israel past and present, from all spheres including political, artistic, business, sports and even a Novel Prize laureate.  How many do you know?

null On Yom HaZikaron Israelis  mourn the soldiers  who fell defending the st ate.  Here's the story of an Israeli mother who, having lost two sons in battle, is now an inspirational                                                         speaker in the IDF.  

Can Jews and Arabs live together?

Hostility of Jews towards Arabs is a growing problem in Israel.  But it's not the whole story.  Opposing trends exist as well.  Many in the Arab minority are proud Israelis.
Israel's Reform movement found that employment equality for Arabs is highest in the health care sector.  Here's an overview from the Israel Religious Action Center.  You can also read their interesting report on Arab employment in Israel.

The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus brings young Jews and Arabs together to sing, but more importantly to get to know each other and create shared experiences.  You can read their story or just watch their fun video.


Israeli Arabs are exempt from military service.  A small but growing proportion of Israeli Arabs participate in the substitute volunteer programs, known as National Service.  Now, for the first time, Arab members of the Knesset are encouraging Arab Israelis to volunteer for National Service - the result of new options for local social programs in Arab communities.

And finally, a story of Jewish and Arab women who cook together for underprivileged children.

Getting to know Israel by watching Israeli TV

Israel is gaining a reputation for high quality television.  Some of these are now available with subtitles through online services such as Netflix.

It's not easy to be a Liberal Zionist

Liberal Zionists are increasingly caught in the middle between two militantly vocal groups - anti-Zionists and ultra-nationalists.

The Israeli left has been quiet for several years.  But Labor party leadership candidates now claim to be proudly following in Yitzhak Rabin's agenda of social progress and diplomacy.

Read More....

Isreli writer Yossi Klein Halevi uses a case of mistaken identity to make a point about the use of coarse deligitimization in Israeli public discourse

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