Doron Almog and Yaakov Hagoel © (photo credit: THE JEWISH AGENCY)

Doron Almog and Yaakov Hagoel © (photo credit: THE JEWISH AGENCY)

The Progressive/Reform Zionist Association of Australia (ARZA) is joined by the Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) and Netzer Australia, the Progressive Jewish and Reform Zionist youth movement in warmly welcoming former Major General Doron Almog as the new head of the Jewish Agency. He was nominated to this position on June 16, 2022.

He received the Israel Prize for his lifetime achievement and Special Contribution to Society and the State in 2016. The Israel Prize is regarded as the state’s highest honour. Aged 71, he was born in Rishon Le Tsiyon, Israel in 1951.

Doron Almog is known for his work as founder of a rehabilitation village for disabled children named in honour of his son Eran who died in 2007. Almog noted “in Eran’s name and the name of his friends who didn’t know what independence is, I ask that this ceremony be the beginning of a journey for Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), making Israeli society a more patient, more inclusive society. A small step toward a model society”.

Two days after his election he attended the IMPJ conference hosted by the Progressive/Reform movement of Israel and spoke about his eldest daughter who had made an Aliyah to Torah during her Bat Mitzvah at a Progressive Synagogue. He began his speech by saying “This is the first place I have chosen to be after I have been elected as chairman of the agency”.

Unfortunately, the Haredi movement has been publicly critical of his decision to attend the Progressive Movement’s annual convention in Israel. But their remarks were rebuffed by the Progressive Movement in Israel’s chair, Yair Lootstein who said they were reflective of a complete lack of understanding of the role of the Jewish Agency and the values of the State of Israel.

Yair Lootstein further said ”The Reform Movement will continue to work toward equality and freedom of religion in Israel and for strengthening the connection between the State of Israel and the liberal streams in the Diaspora”.

The Australian Progressive and Zionist Movement welcomes and strongly supports the strengthening of our connection with Israel and acceptance of all streams of Judaism in our Jewish Homeland.

ARZA President, Helen Shardey

Helen Shardey OAM
ARZA Australia President
UPJ Vice President