The terrible events of Thursday and Friday, 30 and 31 July 2015, were a painful reminder that the flames of intolerance in Israeli society continue to burn.
The stabbing of six people during the LGBTQ pride parade in Jerusalem – resulting in the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki – and the torching of the house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, killing 18 month-old Ali Sayid Dawbasha and his father, and seriously injuring his mother, and young brother – shed a dark cloud on the tireless work being done to promote a shared society between Jews and Arabs in Israel and equality for all Israelis, no matter their background or sexual orientation.
Over the past several years, the Israeli Reform Movement has committed to making Israel a more peaceful society, where all its citizens live with dignity and equality. We have done so by establishing the following programs and now is the time to build them:
The IMPJ “Meeting Neighbors” project brings together Jewish families from Reform communities with Arab families from nearby towns and villages for joint, non-political encounters. Three groups have already participated in the program and another one is scheduled to begin right after the high-holidays. These are life altering and society changing programs that are professionally facilitated and are successful in breaking down barriers between neighbors.
Our goal is to open 10 such groups around the country – We need $10,000 per group to continue this essential work.
Striving for full LGBTQ Inclusivity
The IMPJ will continue providing essential religious services and programming for families of same-sex relationships and lifestyles – which include life-cycle events such as marriage ceremonies and assistance with adoptions and conversions. Reform congregations will increase their efforts in becoming meaningful centers of Jewish life for all of its members, no matter their sexual orientation – to and be an example of a pluralistic, tolerant and open movement.
Help us make our efforts in this community more accessible!
From sorrow and tragedy must come action! ARZA and the IMPJ are looking to significantly expand our programing, and we need your help to do so!
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