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Statement on Fires in Haifa

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RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities expresses solidarity with Israel’s firefighters and emergency rescue services who are working tirelessly to combat the spread of multiple wildfires in the Haifa region. As the number of people who have been evacuated exceeds 60,000, we will continue to monitor the situation. We are deeply disturbed by initial Israeli reports that as many as half the fires were probably acts of arson, including possibly politically motivated arson. Whatever investigations ultimately reveal, we condemn the flurry of social media messages expressing pleasure over this crisis and hatred for Israelis. We are heartened by reports that the Palestinian Authority has offered to dispatch firefighting teams to assist Israel, and that Israel has accepted the offer. May all who are in harm’s way find the shelter and support they need, and may Israelis of all faiths and backgrounds draw strength from each other.

Public Statements, Israel

Statement on October 9th Terrorist Attack

News

We at RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities are grieving the murders of Levana Malichi, z'l, and Yosef Kirma, z'l, killed yesterday in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. Levana was an Israeli civilian, and Yosef was a police officer killed in the line of duty.

We echo the statement of the U.S. State Department: “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack that took place today in Jerusalem, which resulted in the death of two Israelis and injured several others. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick and full recovery for those wounded. There is absolutely no justification for the taking of innocent lives. We also condemn the statements glorifying this reprehensible and cowardly attack.”

May all who need comfort and support receive it, and may the light of hope for peace and shared humanity be kindled again.

Public Statements, Israel

Joint Letter Urging Vote on Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act

Endorsement

 

Joint letter from Jewish organizations and rabbis urging action to protect Syrian civilians

Statement on the Orlando Attack: We Mourn, We Pray

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Logos of RRC and RRA

 

We mourn the tragic deaths of 49 members of the LGBT community in Orlando, pray for the healing of the wounded, and extend comfort to family members, friends and their extended community.

We condemn all acts of terror and all statements and actions designed to terrorize, and we are especially horrified at an act of hate directed at particular segments of the American population.

The mass shooting took place while Jews around the world were observing the holiday of Shavuot, where we celebrate receiving the Torah.  Deuteronomy 30:19 teaches “I have set before you today life and death, the blessing and the curse…Choose life, so that you and your children may live.”  We live in a period of increasing extremism. We must continually choose life over and over. A rejection of hate and an embrace of diversity and difference is at the heart of every vibrant community.  Inclusive stances nurture creativity and interconnection and create a safer world for all of us.

We urge Congress and the US President to take up common-sense and measured gun legislation.  While recognizing the right of Americans to own arms for the purposes of personal security and licensed sportsmanship, it has become clear that assault weapons like the one used in this and several other mass shootings serve no purpose other than to kill or injure as many people as possible.  A ban on assault weapons is a common-sense measure that will prevent further attacks and help us overcome the terror of this day.

Let us choose to foster light and love, connection and community, justice and peace.  Let us nurture blessings and in this way choose life, for us and for our descendants.

 

B’Shalom,

David Roberts
Chair, Board of Governors: RRC/ Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D.

President: RRC/ Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Rabbi Nina Mandel
President: Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman

Executive Director: Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

LGBTQ Inclusion

Statement on Summer 2015 Violence in Israel

News

Logos of RRC and RRA

Dear friends,
 
On the heels of Shabbat Nachamu, there are no words of comfort in response to last week’s painful events in Israel—the knife attack on the Jerusalem LGBTQ parade that injured five and left 16-year old Shira Banki dead, and the deadly arson attack on a Palestinian family that killed Ali Saad Dawabshe, a toddler, and left the rest of his family severely burned.  There may ultimately be words of analysis that political scientists or diplomats offer and there should be words of legislation by politicians. 
 
But for all of us who believe that democracy and Judaism can flourish together in Israel, there are actions that we must take.  Both of these deadly attacks were perpetrated by Jews believing they were enacting legitimate expressions of Judaism.  We must repudiate such interpretations and demonstrate that the Judaism we know does not allow for such actions.
 
We must make it clear that a vital Jewish future countenances freedom of expression of all different kinds of Jewish life, and does not tolerate violence either in action or in words.  We must insist that Jewish values are co-equal with a rule of law that protects the tzelem Elohim – the image of God – in every human being, and that state apparatuses enforce these laws equally, especially in protection of minorities or the “other.”  We must work to fuse democracy and Judaism.
 
We can act by:

  • Reciting kaddish for all the victims, demonstrating our legitimate claim on this ancient prayer and our insistence on the value of lives and deaths of all humans.
  • Remembering in our mi sheberach the people injured in the terror attack at the Pride parade, as well as the injured members of Ali Dawabshe’s family. 
  • Supporting organizations working to foster civil society in Israel.

L’shalom,

Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/ Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
David Roberts, Chair, Board of Governors
Rabbi Nina Mandel, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, Interim Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, Chair, Israel Task Force

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