ARZA CANADA Newsletter
October 19, 2018

Jewish and Democratic:
Why Reform Judaism is Essential to the State of Israel
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You are invited to attend as many of the following events as you can. Bring family and friends to hear about the successes and challenges of Reform life in Israel.
Friday November 9th,
8:00 pm
(Kabbalat Shabbat)
Solel Congregation, Mississauga, ON
Saturday November 10th, 10:30 am
(Shabbat morning)
Temple Kol Ami, Thornhill, ON
Saturday November 17th, 10:30 am
(Shabbat morning)
Temple Emanu-El, Toronto, ON

Saturday November 17th, 10:00 am
(Shabbat morning)
Temple Sinai,
Toronto, ON
Sunday November 18th, 10:00 am - 12
(Adult Education & Religious School)
Shaarei Beth El,
Oakville, ON
Friday November 23rd, 6:00 pm
(Kabbalat Shabbat)
Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, ON

Saturday November 24, Torah Study
9 :00 am
Shabbat Morning Services
10:30 am 
Temple Har Zion
Thornhill, ON

Friday November 16th, 7:30 pm
(Kabbalat Shabbat)
Temple B'nai Tikvah, Calgary, AB
Saturday November 17th,
 7:45 pm
Temple Beth Ora, Edmonton, AB
Saturday November 24, 10:30 pm
(Shabbat morning)
Temple Israel,
Ottawa, ON

These events are hosted by ARZA Canada and ARZENU thanks to the generous sponsorship of
KKL-JNF and the World Zionist Organization.

I am excited to inform you of a new chapter in the Reform Movement's engagement with Israel. A new organizational model has been envisioned which will integrate the operations of ARZA (US) with those of the URJ and enable our Reform Movement to strengthen its support for Israel and Reform Zionism. 
Congratulations to Rabbi Josh Weinberg, President of ARZA (US) who will now also serve in the new top-level URJ staff position of Vice-President for Israel and Reform Zionism. A newly created Israel and Reform Zionism Committee (IRZC) will include representation from ARZA Canada, and will have as its inaugural chair Gary Perlin, a well-known lay leader in the Reform Movement and in engagement with Israel.  
ARZA Canada will remain independent and continue in its current form as the Canadian Association for Reform Zionism. We envision even closer collaboration between ARZA Canada and the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism, with the CCRJ working to strengthen its support for the activities of ARZA Canada.  
As one reflection of this change, the URJ recently adopted the Jerusalem Program, the official policy platform of the World Zionist Congress (thus becoming the first religious organization to do so), which recommits the North American Reform Movement to Zionist ideals and to leverage our combined resources devoted to the cause, including formally and explicitly identifying the Reform Movement as a Zionist Movement. 
We extend our thanks to URJ Chair Daryl Messinger and President Rabbi Rick Jacobs for their unwavering commitment and leadership in support of Israel.
I am excited also to invite you to come meet Israeli Reform leaders as we welcome them to Canada over the next few months. I hope you will have an opportunity to meet some of these amazing people who are working on the ground to achieve the vision we share of a pluralistic, democratic Jewish homeland.
ARZA CANADA Week is November 16 - 25, 2018. Our visiting guests, Rabbi Myra Hovav, serving Ramot Shalom congregation in Be'er Sheva, and Reut Noyman, Acting Director of the IMPJ Education Department, will be visiting many of our congregations across Canada as well as meeting privately with individual supporters of IMPJ. You are invited to come hear them speak, whether at your own congregation or one available to you. I encourage you to join me in showing our Israeli partners how much we care.
I am proud that ARZA CANADA is frequently recognized for its leadership as a progressive Zionist organization and our strong partnership with the Israel Reform Movement. In recognition of this strength we will be seeing more Israel Reform Movement (IMPJ) leaders visiting Canada over the next few months, including Israeli Reform Rabbis Yael Karrie (see schedule), Nir Barkin, Gilad Kariv and from England, Rabbi Lea Muehlstein, chair of ARZENU, the umbrella ARZAs.
And finally I am personally excited to be joining representatives from Reform Zionist Associations from around the world as many gather in Israel for ARZENU meetings and to participate in the WZO (World Zionist Organization) meetings leading up to the 2020 World Zionist Congress, the parliament of the Jewish people. This is where our numbers count, where our voice is heard and our influence is powerful.
"אוֹר חָדָשׁ עַל צִיּוֹן תָּאִיר וְנִזְכֶּה כֻלָּנוּ מְהֵרָה לְאוֹרוֹ"
"Shine a new light upon Zion, and may we all merit quickly from its radiance"
ARZA CANADA, President   

Read More....
We can always dream

The leaders of the North American and Israeli Reform movements, Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi Gilad Kariv (respectively),  wrote the speech that Prime Minister Netanyahu would deliver to Diaspora Jews if he wanted to do the right thing for Israel and Jewish unity, as opposed to appease the Ultra-Orthodox extremists in his coalition.
Read More....
Israeli Reform community Kehilat Yonatan wins the right to build a synagogue

The Israeli Reform movement gets full credit for perseverance.  The government, under Haredi influence, puts obstacle after obstacle in our path.  But our Israeli Reform family doesn't give up.
In this case, which is sadly common, the Reform community in Hod Hasharon, north of Tel Aviv, fought for 15 years for approval to build a synagogue and school.  Finally the courts ordered the municipality to allow the project to proceed.  Israel's Reform movement, now at 50 communities, continues to grow despite these challenges.

Reform Movement Wins Landmark Legal Battle, to Build Synagogue in Central Israeli City
Read More....
Court recognizes conversion in Israel outside of Chief Rabbinate

An Israeli court ruled that Orthodox conversions not performed under the Chief Rabbinate must be recognized by the state.  This landmark decision opens the door to recognition of conversions performed by other groups independent of the Chief Rabbinate.  URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs believes this could lead to recognition of Israeli Reform conversions in the future.

Read More....
Catch 67: the Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War, by Micah Goodman

In his new book, Catch 67, Micah Goodman, a professor at the Hebrew University, explores the psychology underlying the Israel-Palestinian conflict, explains why a comprehensive peace agreement is not currently possible, and suggests short term methods to reduce friction between the sides.
Here's an interview with the author by a former chair of ARZA US.

Rabbi Dow Marmur also explains this topic, in a commentary he calls The Piece! Process.
Read More....
Co-existence stories:  Helping Israeli Arabs participate in the hi-tech sector

Israel's Arab community represents 20% of the overall population, but only 4% of the hi-tech work force.  Now several technology industry organizations in Israel are working together to create opportunities for Israeli Arabs to participate in hi-tech, through programs such as focused education and consulting on starting a business and obtaining funding.

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