Statement on Reform Movement Threats in Israel


The worldwide Masorti/Conservative Movement expresses its solidarity today with the Reform Movement and Women of the Wall in light of the horrific vandalism and threats made against our partners Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Anat Hoffman.

That these threats and acts of violence were delivered on the walls of a synagogue in Ranaana, Israel, a space a of sanctity and sanctuary, calls out to the need for Israel’s government to immediately address the culture of segregation and disdain directed against the progressive religious streams in Israel.

We applaud the police’s immediate response and inquiry and trust in their efforts to assure the safety and security of our colleagues, friends and their religious institutions.

We thank the Prime Minister for his statement of condemnation and that these acts have “no place in open society.”

Yet we believe that this moment calls for more.  It is a moment that calls for meaningful acts of leadership and change.  North America’s Jewish community, together with Israel, represent 90% of world Jews.  These acts of hate are made possible by Israel’s continued institutional lack of Jewish religious pluralism, the ability of its most extreme religious leaders to make egregious statements delegitimizing the religious streams without consequence, and the government’s unwillingness to implement its own agreements that would make a first step addressing these issues establishing one Wall for one people legally recognizing Jewish pluralism in Israel.

The government of Israel must recognize what Jews the world over know to be true by experience, Judaism is authenticated by celebrating its diversity and dynamism.  If the Jewish people are to be united, that unity can only be achieved through a society based on tolerance and acceptance.  For Israel to truly be the homeland of the Jewish people, it must by its institutions and cultural norms be the homeland for all the Jews.

Rabbi Steven Wernick CEO, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld Executive Vice President, The Rabbinical Assembly

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