These are unchartered times. These are unpredictable times. These are changing times. These are times to be vigilant. These are times for you to be speaking up for Israel.
Today's world moves faster than ever before. In a digital age in which a single individual or incident can garner international headlines in minutes, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant and strategic in identifying, exposing, and confronting those who seek to threaten the democratic character of the Jewish State.
Anat Hoffman, IRAC, has written to remind us that we need to speak up to encourage Israeli leaders to recognize Israel's formative values of equality, pluralism and tolerance. In Israel 2017 as in other democracies, these values define our moral power.
Canada has the fourth largest Jewish population after Israel, USA, and France. Canadian Jews are known to be especially Zionistic. Let's act on that.
What are you doing in your congregation to engage with Israel, to advocate for Israel, to celebrate Israeli accomplishments, to support progressive Judaism in Israel, and to add your voice to advocate for a democratic and Jewish State of Israel?
As your president of ARZA Canada I am proud of the work we are doing to connect Reform Jews with Israel and to be the voice for Canadian Reform Zionists. We have advocated for progressive Judaism rights with Israel's Consul General. We have engaged Israeli Rabbi Benjie Gruber to serve as a Scholar-in-Residence with our Reform congregations. We build meaningful relationships with Gilad Kariv and other leaders of IMPJ to partner with Israel Reform congregations and help seed new ones.
We are working at enhancing our communications with you our ARZA Canada members. We are proud to announce the newest recipient of the ARZA Canada Michael Stroh Scholarship for study in Israel is Jared Cohen from Temple Har Zion ( Thornhill) who will be participating in the NFTY-Eisendrath Israel Experience (EIE) for high school students.
Let us know how we can help your congregation deepen your connection with Israel. We want to have every Reform congregation represented on our ARZA Canada Board. We love hearing from you and hearing what is happening at your congregation for Israel engagement.
May this Tu b'Shevat be a time to protect both the natural world and the free world.
President ARZA Canada