REFORM JUDAISM IN ISRAEL: LETTER OF SOLIDARITY TO CHARLOTTESVILLE
We, together with friends and partners around the world, were shocked to learn about the horrendous acts of antisemitism, racism, bigotry and violence which took place in Charlottesville last weekend. On behalf of the entire staff, lay leadership and congregational members of the Israel Reform Movement, we sent our friends in Charlottesville the following message.
On behalf of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), we want to express our deep sorrow and distress by the events which took place in Charlottesville over the past weekend. Together with you, we are shocked and horrified by the rise of antisemitism, racism and bigotry in America. We are committed to working with you and all of our Jewish sisters and brothers all across the United States in ridding this horrendous acts of hatred from our midst. Know that we stand with you in solidarity and are here to lend a helping hand.
In these times of distress, we pray that we will know how to channel our anger not in the way of Amalek, but rather follow the ways of some of our greatest teachers and rabbis. In the spirit of Tisha b’Av, which we marked just two weeks ago, and further in the spirit of love of Tu b’Av, may we internalize the words of Rabbi Kook: “and if we were destroyed and our world was destroyed over blind hatred, may we rebuild and may our world be rebuilt by blind love.”
The IMPJ deputy-chair for Financial Affairs, Adv. Yair Lootsteen, spent time with his family in Charlottesville almost 20 years ago. Therefore, when he heard what had happened, it hit close to home. Yair sent a most moving
letter to members of the Charlottesville. In it, he shared these moving words: “”כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה”. “All of Israel is responsible for one another”. Easier said than done when we are thousands of miles apart. But please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your congregants during these difficult times, as they are with all good people of Charlottesville. We pray for your safety and for a speedy return of calm and tranquility. “יְהִי שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵילֵךְ שַׁלְוָה בְּאַרְמְנוֹתָיִך”ְ. ” Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces”.
Yours in solidarity,
Rabbi Gilad Kariv- President and CEO of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism
Reuven Marko- Chairperson of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism