Congregation Beth Israel Participates in Shabbat of Solidarity for Israel
Wednesday, October 14, 2015, New York, NY…Rabbis and leaders of the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist movements are joining with the Conference of Presidents in declaring this weekend, October 16 – 17 (Parshat Noach), as a special Sabbath of Solidarity with Israel. Stephen Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, EVC/CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said, “the Conference is undertaking a series of programs and actions to demonstrate the support of the American Jewish community for the people of Israel as they face a wave of terror and violence which has taken a heavy toll. The attacks of recent days are unique in that they appear spontaneous and occur around the country, targeting people going about their daily lives. We hope that all synagogues will add special prayers in addition to the prayer for the State of Israel in their Sabbath morning services and that rabbis will use their sermons to discuss what is occurring. We also hope they will encourage members to visit Israel, express public support for Israel in the media and to elected officials, and maintain contact with Israeli friends and relatives,” said the Jewish leaders.
Joining the effort are the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Rabbinical Council of America, as well as the National Council of Young Israel and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ President said, “Our hearts break as our people are viciously attacked in communities throughout our beloved Jewish State. Our North American Reform Movement joins in solidarity with our people everywhere as we pray for a peaceful Shabbat that leads to a safer and more secure State of Israel.”
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Rabbinical Assembly Executive Vice President said, “The Rabbinical Assembly, representing 1700 Conservative/Masorti rabbis around the world, stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel who are again facing a resurgence of terror and violence against civilians going about their daily lives. We support and encourage the government of Israel in taking necessary steps to protect its civilians and prevent further attacks. This terror wave is an outrage that must be condemned by the international community. We call on President Abbas and the Palestinian leadership to denounce such acts of violence and to take vigorous and decisive action to restore order.”
Farley Weiss, National Council of Young Israel President said, “The National Council of Young Israel supports the Conference of President efforts to make this Shabbat to be a Shabbat of Unity with the People of Israel. Israel’s strength is amazing to see during this time of barbarous attacks on its civilians. We back the Israeli government’s right to take the necessary actions to protect its citizens from harm by those who wish to destroy it. We are joining the call to speak out and pray for Israel.
Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities President said, “While the North American Jewish community may not always see eye-to-eye regarding how to best bring about an ideal future for the State of Israel and the Jewish people overall, today we mourn together for the victims and with the families of the recent attacks that have brought terror to the streets of Israel. We unequivocally denounce this violence and believe that those responsible should be held accountable.”
Greenberg and Hoenlein lauded this demonstration of unity at this difficult time and hope the people of Israel will see that we stand together with them. All the member organizations of the Conference are urged to support this effort and to urge their members to participate in the Sabbath services.