May 16, 2021
As the leaders representing the Reform Jewish Community of Canada, we stand together as one people with our siblings in Israel and call for an end to violence from Gaza and civil unrest in the streets of Israeli cities. We pray that all of the people of the land will turn their swords into plowshares and find a way to live together in peace and dignity. We call for dialogue not destruction, peace not violence, empathy not enmity.
We wholeheartedly support Israel in its right to defend itself from terror. We mourn with the families that have suffered loss of life. We send our prayers for recovery to those who have been injured. We send compassion to all of the children, Jewish and Palestinian, who are scared of the loud noises of rockets, bombs and sirens and who have to spend days and nights seeking shelter.
Our position is bolstered by the resolve and resilience of our colleagues in Israel who speak with moderation and compassion. The Reform Movement in Israel is urging those they work alongside in their shared society programs to reach out to one another, and to restore friendship and understanding.
A joint statement of mayors from Jewish and Arab towns is encouraging an end to violence and mob rule in the streets. Demonstrations of friendship are taking place across the country where Jews and Arabs are coming together to say, “Enough violence. Let’s work together for co- existence.”
We stand with the people of Israel and call for moral leadership on all sides, for respect for human life, and for dignity.
We know that Israelis are resilient. We also know that they need our messages of solidarity and support. To paraphrase the 12th century Jewish sage Yehuda Halevi, “though we are in the west, at this very moment in particular our heart is in the east.”
Am Yisrael Chai
Len Bates Lee Weisser Rabbi Dan Moskovitz President President Chair, RJCC ARZA Canada Canada Rabbi, Temple Sholom, Vancouver
About the Reform Jewish Community of Canada (RJCC) Our mission is to strengthen and grow the Canadian Reform Jewish movement by supporting our 25 Reform congregations, Camp George, and our affiliates. We are a Jewish Community grounded in Torah, Jewish wisdom and Jewish practices, and engaged in the pursuit of the sacred, acts of kindness and social responsibility. A Community where everyone is accepted and respected for who they are, who they love; and respects individual expression of their love of Israel and the meaning and purpose they bring to Judaism. We are a partner of the Union for Reform Judaism, the North American Reform movement.
About the Reform Rabbis of Canada The Reform Rabbis of Canada brings together the spiritual leaders of the Canadian Reform community. They are the rabbinic leaders within the synagogues affiliated with the RJCC and are the voice of the Canadian Reform community.
About the Association of Reform Zionists of Canada (ARZA Canada) ARZA Canada is an affiliate of the RJCC and URJ. ARZA Canada is a member organization of Arzenu, the International Association of Reform Zionists, and the Canadian Zionist Federation. With over 8,000 members, its mandate is to connect with Reform communities throughout Canada, foster connections with and strengthen ties to the Reform Movement in Israel, and work to realize the vision of Reform Zionism.
About the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) The URJ builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 850 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations. Visit us at therjcc.ca, arzacanada.org and URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.