During the first week of February, at a session of the Knesset Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice, the committee chairman, MK David Rotem of Likud-Beitanu stated: “The Reform movement is not Jewish … they are another religion.” The expression “another religion” was not used by MK Rotem by accident. The Israeli Law of Return uses this exact term to exclude non-Jews from making Aliyah, and therefore according to him, Reform Jews have no place in Israel.

In reply, the Israel Reform Movement’s Executive Director, Rabbi Gilad Kariv said: “we were witness to this unrestrained declaration of MK Rotem about non-orthodox streams of Judaism. An assertion such as this makes it impossible for MK Rotem to continue to chair discussions on sensitive issues such as conversion, who is a Jew and other topics that are associated with Religion & State matters and the relationship between Israel and the diaspora.” Rabbi Kariv further added: “Keeping in mind Proverbs 3:17, which says “its ways are the ways of pleasantness and all her paths lead to peace,” we must all ask ourselves, with which religious hearitage MK Rotem identifies.”

Rabbi Kariv sent letters of protest to this effect to the Knesset Chairman MK Yuli Edelstein, the Chair of the Knesset Ethics Committee and MK Rotem.  We encourage you to make your opinion of this matter known to both Knesset Chair MK Edelstein (yedelstein@knesset.gov.il) and MK Rotem, himself (drotem@knesset.gov.il).