Welcome to the website of the Australian Reform Zionist Association (ARZA). ARZA works to help ensure that Israel can live in peace and security, both within, and at the borders of her neighbours. ARZA works to ensure that Israel is a democratic and inclusive society for all of its inhabitants and is a spiritual home for all Jews. ARZA Australia represents the values and views of Progressive Jews locally and, via our global parent organisation ARZENU, around the world.
WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANY MORE!
CRISES OF CONVERSION AND KOTEL
Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander
Chair, ARZENU, International Reform Zionist Organization
I was driving with my Israeli friend through a Jerusalem neighborhood. As we passed by houses and gardens, mothers pushing strollers and kids cruising on skateboards, he said to me: “This is such a beautiful country, with such beautiful people, beautiful landscapes — and such a horrible government!” The recent actions of the Netanyahu government to support a Conversion Bill that would disqualify any Jew by Choice converted in Israel by anything other than an “authorized” Bet Din, coupled with their “freezing” the agreement to build an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, simply reinforce my friend’s sad remark.
Over the past few days we have once again been reminded in the most stunning manner about the lack of regard that the Government of Israel has for Progressive, Conservative and other non-Orthodox Jews in Israel and around the world. It has also provided a stark reminder of the continuing importance of the work of ARZA groups around the world to see Israel fulfill one of the basic commitments of her Declaration of Independence.
World Union Connections Conference April 2017 Jerusalem
The World Union for Progressive Judaism’s (WUPJ) CONNECTIONS conference was held in Jerusalem in April, providing me the opportunity to visit Israel and to have some meaningful meetings with Progressive Zionists from around the world. However, beyond that, it was an outstanding conference that provided inspiration and support for all of us seeking to ensure that Israel fulfills its own commitment to be a democratic and inclusive society.
When an Embattled Israel Called Them in 1967 They Came, and Never Left
'The Six-Day War is what clinched the deal for me': Five Jewish immigrants from English-speaking countries look back on 50 years, in hope, satisfaction and disappointment too
More Info: www.yeshisraeltrip.com
The Zionist Council of NSW launched it's brand new Israel experience “Yesh!” in 2016 and took its first group of Jewish students aged 21-28 to Israel for a two week visit from July 7th to 20th. The visit gave participants a unique and personal view of Israel that would not likely be found on any other program or when traveling alone.
ARZA Australia was pleased to support the efforts of the UIA Progressive Campaign on behalf of the World Union for Progressive Judaism’s work to resettle refugees and migrants in Israel.
At an event hosted this week by supporters Jenny and Rob Smith, the Progressive Campaign’s outstanding guest speakers, Professors Tsvia and Raphael Walden gave members of the community a wonderful insight into key social issues in Israel today as well as hearing from Tsvia about the challenges confronting her, when saying Kaddish at the funeral of her late father, Shimon Peres (z”l).
Hate graffiti sprayed on walls of Kehilat Ra'anan allude to controversy over Western Wall egalitarian prayer space deal.
The Western Wall was a scene of pandemonium and unprecedented violence on Wednesday morning, after Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders broke through security barriers with Torah scrolls in their arms, in defiance of the ultra-Orthodox authorities who run the holy site, in protest against Israel's inaction on providing a promised egalitarian prayer space.
When MKs, ministers and prominent (state-funded) rabbis call us Reform Jews 'dogs' and 'idolaters' and face no sanction, who's surprised their devotees now attack our synagogues and threaten our leaders?