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ARZA Canada:

Strengthening ties of Reform Jews to Israel

ARZA Canada:

Strengthening ties of Reform Jews to Israel

ARZA Canada:

Strengthening ties of Reform Jews to Israel

ARZA Canada (the Association of Reform Zionists of America – Canada) is affiliated with the Reform Jewish Community of Canada and the Union for Reform Judaism North America.

With over 8,400 members, our mandate is to connect with Reform communities throughout Canada, foster connections with and strengthen our ties to the Reform Movement in Israel, and work to realize the vision of Reform Zionism.

CZF
North American Reform Jews sing Hatikvah for Israel’s 75th Birthday
Lee Weisser
Lee Weisser
President
Arza Canada logo - blue

We Are the World

Shalom Chaverim/Chaverot,

Last week, the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) Rabbi Sergio Bergman, met with his dear friend of over 25 years, Pope Francis. And he did so accompanied by a delegation of 25 distinguished members of the WUPJ and several eminent members of the Vatican’s Secretary on interreligious dialogue. WUPJ delegation to the Vatican

The WUPJ delegation was in Rome to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Beth Hillel, Rome’s Progressive Jewish community. Rabbi Bergman also shared his thoughts with the Pope on the current situation in Israel, expressing the hope for collaborative efforts toward the release of all hostages.

Pope Francis personally greeted every delegate and gave them a gift. WUPJ gave the Pope a yellow ribbon and dog tag in support of the hostages and a WUPJ Mezuzah as a symbol of their progressive Zionist identity throughout the world.

Rabbi Sergio Bergman is greeted by his friend Pope Francis

 

A World Mission to Israel

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) recently sent a mission of leaders from all over the world to Israel.

Rabbi Eliza McCarroll, Assistant Rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, participated in that mission.

I interviewed Rabbi McCarroll on her experiences. She focuses on the extraordinary work of our Israeli colleagues and their commitment to keep working for a better future for Israel.

Interview with Rabbi McCaroll (approximately 9 minutes).

 

A Message of Support to Jewish Students on Campus

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, addressed Reform students on campus with a message of support.

Tuesday May 21 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT

URJ: Having the Hard Conversations

Are you struggling to have hard conversations about Israel in your family or community?

Join us May 21st at 8:00pm ET/ 5:00pm PT for a training and leave with concrete skills and tools to engage in meaningful discussions that bring people together.

Learn a set of guidelines and best practices for engaging in tough conversation to keep the focus on our values and experiences instead of headlines and divisive talking points. Leave with a set of conversation cards and a toolkit to facilitate a conversation in your congregation/community.

Click here to register https://brnw.ch/21wJFAb

 

Join today! arzacanada.org

Speak up for equality and inclusion in Israel.

Join today! arzacanada.org

All memberships started in May or June of 2024 are good until June 30, 2025.

 

The Voices of Sha’ar HaNegev Are Coming to Canada

We are grateful to our sponsors for making this visit possible.

Details below:

Tuesday, May 21,  7:00 pm at Temple Sholom, Vancouver

Rabbi Yael Vurgan is the Rabbi of Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Community in the south of Israel along the Gaza border. Through a mixture of images, texts, and poems, she will bring the story of the Sha’ar Hanegev community of the Israel Reform Movement before and after October 7th to life.

Rabbi Vurgan will share true stories about October 7th, and what has followed bringing to light the heroic work of our Rabbis and leaders with the people most impacted by the tragic events and bring hope for a better future.

REGISTER HERE

  •  

Voices of Courage from Israel’s Border Communities, with Rabbi Yael Vurgan and Cantor Linor Ein Gedy
Kabbalat Shabbat at Holy Blossom Temple, Friday, May 24, 6:00 pm

Rabbi Yael Vurgan is the Regional Rabbi of Sha’ar HaNegev, a group of communities located just north-east of the Gaza Strip. The massacre on Oct. 7 took the lives of 87 members of this region, and 26 were taken hostage.

Since Oct. 7, Rabbi Vurgan has dedicated herself to supporting the families of Sha’ar HaNegev, now scattered across the country. This includes listening to their personal stories, officiating at far too many funerals and shivas, helping them to cope with pain and loss, and encouraging them to be strong.

Rabbi Vurgan is featured in this article on Rabbinic heroines of the Gaza war, in the Jerusalem Post.

ARZA Canada is hosting Rabbi Vurgan and Cantor Linor Ein Gedy for a cross-Canada tour. We are fortunate to be able to welcome them for Kabbalat Shabbat when they will share some of the stories and songs of courage, which have steered our sister-congregations in Israel through this most trying time.

To join us online, please visit our livestream Page

  •  

Saturday May 25 – 10 am Shabbat morning, Temple Sinai, Toronto

Join us for a special Shabbat morning service with featured guests, Rabbi Yael Vurgan (regional rabbi in Sha’ar HaNegev) and Linor Ein Gedy (song leader and shlichat tzibbur at Sha’ar HaNegev regional congregation), followed by a presentation and lunch (sponsored by ARZA Canada).

The presentation, a rich tapestry of images, texts, poems, and songs vividly depict the narrative of the Sha’ar HaNegev community within the Israel Reform Movement, both before and after October 7th.

Interwoven with liturgical texts from Jewish tradition and Israeli songs, translated into English, these elements breathe new life and deeper significance into the period between Pesach and Shavuot, during the counting of the Omer.

Through authentic accounts of October 7th and its aftermath, the courageous efforts of our rabbis and leaders alongside those directly affected by the tragedy are illuminated, offering a beacon of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Register 

Watch Livestream

  •  

May 26, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Temple Israel, Ottawa

ARZA Canada presentation & lunch with Rabbi Yael Vurgan and Cantor Linor Ein Gedy. The presentation, a rich tapestry of images, texts, poems, and songs vividly depict the narrative of the Sha’ar HaNegev community within the Israel Reform Movement, both before and after October 7th.

 

Help Israel from Home
Volunteer as an online English language mentor through English B’Yachad. Create new possibilities for young Israeli adults from underserved Israeli communities. Support their economic empowerment to contribute to Israel’s success.  Watch an informational video.
Learn more and sign up to Help Israel from Home
 or contact Marla Gamoran

L’Shalom

Lee Weisser, President

 

Upcoming Events

The Voices of Sha’ar HaNegev Are Coming to Canada

We are grateful to our sponsors for making this visit possible.

Tuesday, May 21,  7:00 pm at Temple Sholom, Vancouver

Rabbi Yael Vurgan is the Rabbi of Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Community in the south of Israel along the Gaza border. Through a mixture of images, texts, and poems, she will bring the story of the Sha’ar Hanegev community of the Israel Reform Movement before and after October 7th to life.

Rabbi Vurgan will share true stories about October 7th, and what has followed bringing to light the heroic work of our Rabbis and leaders with the people most impacted by the tragic events and bring hope for a better future.

REGISTER HERE

•••

Friday May 24, 6 – 7 pm, Kabbalat Shabbat at Holy Blossom Temple

Rabbi Yael Vurgan and Cantor Linor Ein Gedy share their voices.

To join us online, please visit our livestream Page

•••

Saturday May 25 – 10 am Shabbat morning, Temple Sinai, Toronto

Join us for a special Shabbat morning service with featured guests, Rabbi Yael Vurgan (regional rabbi in Sha’ar HaNegev) and Linor Ein Gedy (song leader and shlichat tzibbur at Sha’ar HaNegev regional congregation), followed by a presentation and lunch (sponsored by ARZA Canada).

The presentation, a rich tapestry of images, texts, poems, and songs vividly depict the narrative of the Sha’ar HaNegev community within the Israel Reform Movement, both before and after October 7th.

Interwoven with liturgical texts from Jewish tradition and Israeli songs, translated into English, these elements breathe new life and deeper significance into the period between Pesach and Shavuot, during the counting of the Omer.

Through authentic accounts of October 7th and its aftermath, the courageous efforts of our rabbis and leaders alongside those directly affected by the tragedy are illuminated, offering a beacon of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Register 

Watch Livestream

•••

May 26, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Temple Israel, Ottawa

ARZA Canada presentation & lunch with Rabbi Yael Vurgan and Cantor Linor Ein Gedy

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From the Shalom Hartman Institute:

With a startling rise in anti-Israel activism and antisemitism on campus, how can Jewish communities understand and respond to these dynamics?

Campus resources for this moment - click here

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Voices from the Israel Reform Movement: Marking Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzma'ut together

Thursday, May 9, 2024,  1 pm ET, 10 am PT

Join the global Reform Movement in an online gathering leading to Israeli memorial and independence days –Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzma'ut.

Join us for voices, music and stories from Israel, as we approach these meaningful days. Gain inspiration and resources to mark these days within your communities.

REGISTER

•••

Tuesday May 14 – 7:30 pm, Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto

Yossi Klein Halevi of the Shalom Hartman Institute unpacks October 7 and its aftermath.

The tragedies of October 7 and the war in Gaza require the Jewish community in North American and in Israel to reflect, rethink, and reassess the future of Jewish life and Jewish Peoplehood. Join Shalom Hartman Institute Senior Research Fellow Yossi Klein Halevi for a conversation about the complicated path forward, where we are, and what comes next.

REGISTER

  • ••

Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism

May 29-30, 2024 - Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, NYC

October 7th forever changed the course of Jewish history and exposed deep rifts in North American society.

As antisemitism and anti-Zionism explode on college campuses, we'll hear from experts ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, Harvard Divinity School visiting scholar and Temple Sinai of Los Angeles Max Webb Rabbi Emeritus David Wolpe, and Columbia University and Jewish Theological Seminary student Eden Yadegar, in a panel discussion moderated by Hillel International Director of Israel Education Rabbi Melissa B. Simon.

REGISTER

  • ••

Friday, May 31 - MNJCC - 5:30 to 9 pm

A Musical Kabbalat Shabbat with Hava N'Ranena

City Shul, Toronto

Join us for a music-filled event, followed by a light dinner. All ages are welcome.

REGISTER

  • ••

Sunday, June 9 - Walk with Israel - GTA

REGISTER

Miriam Pearlman

Podcasts

Miriam Pearlman, immediate past president of ARZA Canada, discusses the impact of Israel’s new government with fellow leaders in a Canadian Jewish News Daily podcast:

Arza Canada Privacy Policy

The Privacy Commission of Canada states the following:

Non-profit organizations are not subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) when they do not engage in commercial activities.

The following activities are not considered commercial and are not subject to PIPEDA:

  • collecting membership fees
  • compiling a list of members’ names and addresses/email addresses
  • mailing out newsletters

As you know, ARZA Canada represents Canadian Reform Zionists with members in all of Canada’s Reform congregations. Though independent of the sister organization, ARZA, in the United States, it is an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and Reform Jewish Community of Canada (RJCC). We are writing to address how ARZA Canada maintains its membership records, and in particular its commitment to the privacy of our members.

Accurate membership records are important to the entire Reform Jewish Community of Canada given that the size of our membership determines our influence on Zionist policies in Canada and in Israel. ARZA Canada members come through congregational solicitation and activism, and so annually it is provided lists of its members from Canadian Reform congregations such as yours in order to confirm individual memberships. This is deeply appreciated.

ARZA Canada has strong privacy practices to ensure the confidentiality of this membership information. It is used by ARZA Canada to communicate with our members and engage them in the activities of ARZA Canada, including joint programs with RJCC and our congregations.

For more please click here.

Meet Our Executive

Lee Weisser

Lee Weisser

President

Miriam Pearlman

Miriam Pearlman

Immediate Past President

Len Bates

Len Bates

Liaison to Reform Jewish Community of Canada

Cheryl Englander

Cheryl Englander

Vice-President 

Jeff Denaburg

Jeff Denaburg

Vice-President 

Dorothy Millman

Dorothy Millman

Vice-President 

Valerie Whitefield

Valerie Whitefield

Vice-President 

Judith Wiley

Judith Wiley

Secretary

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