"u’Faratztah" Community Development Initiative

"u’Faratztah" Program for Community Development Initiative

In recent years, more and more Israelis have begun to seek out meaningful ways to celebrate their Judaism, which are aligned with their values and beliefs. As such, they find their Jewish home in progressive Jewish movements.

Recognizing this growing trend, in 2010, the IMPJ established the “u’Faratztah” Community Development Initiative, aiming to have 50 Reform congregations operating in Israel by the year 2020. Two-thirds of the way in, the IMPJ has almost reached the 50 congregation mark and is expected to exceed it next year. The process begins with mapping the needs of the area and establishing a cadre of local leaders, to creating a network of partnerships with other organizations such as Partnership2Gether, and creating a pluralistic training center. Often, groups in the field come to the IMPJ and ask for assistance in developing a pluralistic congregation. Over the past year, a number of these congregations have matured into self-run NGOs and new congregations have been added to the initiative.

The project’s main goal is to establish new congregations throughout Israel, with an emphasis on the country’s periphery and where no other pluralistic options are available. This is done through a start-up model developed by the IMPJ that supports these congregations from their earliest stages until becoming independent centers. These centers reach out to various groups in the area, including youth, young families, new immigrants and more. Today, there are, 27 existing “u'Faratzta” congregations (more than originally planned) at different stages of growth (0-5 years).

Program Web Site: www.reform.org.il/Eng