The Jewish Agency is proud to support the diverse streams of Judaism in Israel in order to enable Israelis to participate in the multifaceted experience of Judaism.
In 2016, The Jewish Agency supported 31 programs that operate through the various Jewish movements in Israel – Reform, Conservative, and Modern Orthodox. This is made possible by The Jewish Agency’s partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America. These programs reached 798,00 Israelis through educational and communal programs throughout the country.
These programs include the TALI network of schools, The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism’s School Network, The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, The Israeli Rabbinical Program at Hebrew Union College, Bar and Bat Mitzva programs for children with disabilities and for children from underserved neighborhoods in Israel’s geographic and societal periphery in partnership with the Conservative Movement, the Noam Youth Movement, the Netaim Program, and many more.
A Reform Soldier and Citizen
Ezequiel Streim made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel from Buenos Aires at age 28. He participated in the activities of the Reform Movement in Buenos Aires before his Aliyah, and after a year of training with his movement, he decided to make Israel his home.
“To be part of the Reform-Jewish community allows me to continue to be connected to Judaism in a meaningful way in Israel – progressive Judaism that is open and inclusive”, he says.
“When I was a lone soldier in the IDF, I heard about the Kol Haneshama congregation” he explained, referring to the Reform Synagogue in southern Jerusalem. “I had visited the synagogue in the past, and without a second thought, I joined them for Friday night services. Since then, I’ve been part of that congregation for three years.”
He adds “The Reform Movement supports me, and connected me to a community of young people called ‘tlamim’, which is a program for leaders, and eventually I became one of the leaders of the program.”
Finding an Open, Pluralistic Approach to Judaism
Uri Price, whose son goes to the nursery of the Reform Movement in Holon (known as Congergation “Kodesh v’Hol), participates in the Reform Movement’s activities that are supported by The Jewish Agency.
“When we were about to have our fourth child, we looked for an open community in which we could share our approach to Judaism. In Congergation Kodesh V’Hol, we found exactly what we were looking for. We found a community that shows children a pluralistic approach to Judaism, an approach that we wanted to impart to our children. We are so thankful for the connections we made by joining the community, and the education system that our children have been part of in the last few years.”
These stories represent just a small portion of the growth people have experienced in Israel as a result of their connection to the various streams of Judaism in Israel supported by The Jewish Agency.
"Anyone who cares about the future of the Jewish people should care about [allowing equal access to the Kotel]. We must not simply throw up our hands but rather take action now, before it is too late." - From Natan Sharansky's recent article on the Kotel Compromise in Tablet Magazine.