Update: Proposed Bill Threatens Israel-Diaspora Relations

The Union for Reform Judaism

July 13, 2010 | Av 2 5770

Dear Friend,

We have reached the critical moment and we need your help. The Israeli Knesset will vote in the next 72 hours on a bill that would fundamentally change the Law of Conversion and further concentrate power with the Chief Rabbinate.

Since the bill was voted on by a Knesset committee seven days ago, the response from Reform Jews in the U.S., Canada and around the world has been unprecedented. Literally tens of thousands of emails, faxes and phone calls have poured in to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem. Reporters in the Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and scores of local Jewish newspapers have documented the expression of outrage over this bill that gives control over conversions to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, under the control of the ultra-Orthodox. This delegitimization of Reform and other conversions is an affront to each of us.

The Union for Reform Judaism and the entire Reform Movement has acted decisively to meet this challenge. Today, the Religious Action Center’s Director Rabbi David Saperstein, and ARZA Executive Director Rabbi Danny Allen joined the team already in Israel to lobby Cabinet and Knesset members against this bill. In meetings with top Israeli officials and Diaspora leaders, we are making clear the message that the Jewish world is united against this bill.

How can you help? If you have not yet done so, contact Prime Minister Netanyahu and add your voice to the chorus of those who reject this effort to divide the Jewish people. Tell the Prime Minister to stop the conversion bill and assure the vibrancy of Jewish life in Israel and around the world. We have made great strides in the last week; your input is vital as we enter the final days of decision.

For more information on this issue visit http://urj.org/israel/rotem. We look forward to working with you on this issue that speaks to the very heart of what it means to be a Reform Jew. L’Shalom,

Rabbi Eric Yoffie
President

Peter Weidhorn
Chairman of the Board
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Für mehr Informationen und einen Briefentwurf an Netanyahu und den Botschafter besucht bitte http://www.arzenu.de

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