Like many of you, we are viewing the news of violence in Israel with deep concern. We share with you below a message from our partners in the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, including updates on what has been happening with our partner organizations and congregations in Israel, as well as links to sign on to an international briefing on the situation at 2pm today (May 13, 2021) and to donate towards efforts to provide relief, humanitarian aid and spiritual resilence to those affected.
We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for all the inhabitants of the region.
Michael Marx, President
Rabbis Linda Motzkin and Jonathan Rubenstein
International Briefing about the Situation in Israel:
Thursday 13th May / 21:00 IST / 14:00 CST / 3pm ET
Please join us for a special briefing for our international partners and friends by MK Rabbi Gilad Kariv, IMPJ Chair Yair Lootsteen, IMPJ Acting Director General Anna Kislanski, and leaders of ARZENU, ARZA and WUPJ, about the socio-political situation at present, what IMPJ and IRAC are doing about it, as well as a report from our Rabbis in the field in areas under attack. Click here to register.
As you may know, the situation in Israel these past few days has escalated drastically.
From the Moshavim and Kibbutzim in the Gaza envelope, to the heavily-bombarded city of Ashkelon, to the surprising attacks on Israel’s central region, and major urban cities – Israelis everywhere have been affected by the events of the past 48 hours.
Last night’s heavy barrages marked over a thousand rockets fired into Israel in the past days. Many of our congregations are situated in areas under attack but have been able to stay sheltered, together and to provide comfort and guidance to one another. Our thoughts go out to those who have been huddled into bomb shelters for hours at a time, to young families and the elderly for whom it is especially difficult to deal with the anxiety and uncertainty that each hour brings.
IMPJ’s Pre-Army Mechina program for young-leadership, whose branches in Holon and Jaffa do not have easily-accessible shelters, has been forced to send all participants home. In addition, NFTY program participants who arrived in Israel just a few short weeks ago, spent the night in bomb shelters in Tzuba after sirens sounded, followed by rockets falling in several locations near Jerusalem.
However, we also have a lot of hope. IMPJ, Keren b’Kavod’s Tikkun Olam projects together with members of our 52 congregations, social action volunteers from the Mechina, youth and young adult programs are organizing intensive efforts for the next period in order to provide relief, humanitarian aid and spiritual resilience for those affected (see below).
If you would like to donate to help this cause, please click here. We deeply appreciate whatever help you can give.
In addition, our congregations that are situated in cities of co-existence, such as Haifa, Jerusalem, Galil and parts of the Gaza Envelope, are continuing shared society projects, joining voices of leadership from the field to stabilize the tension between neighboring communities.
We will continue to update you with the latest news from the field. Already today, IMPJ’s congregations throughout Israel will transfer programming to virtual platforms once more, a reality we are already accustomed to due to COVID, including special events suited to the current situation (see below). This comes as a disappointment after carefully planning and organizing a rich variety of events for Tikkun Leil Shavuot.
Nonetheless, we draw great hope from the unity and strength that our communities bring one another, together with our friends and partners in the diaspora. We will not allow the intensity of our solidarity to be overshadowed by fear.
“ופרוש עלינו סוכת שלומך”
“And spread over us a canopy of peace”
We pray for those in need of healing, send condolences to the families of the deceased and wounded, and pray for peace and for better days to come upon us soon.
The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism
Joint Havdalah Ceremony in Solidarity with Israel
Shabbat 15th May | 20:00 IST | 13:00 CST
Join our Israeli congregations for a Havdalah ceremony of solidarity and unity during these difficult times. The event will be in Hebrew, with musical accompaniment and sections in English. Click here to join.