WHY YOU MUST BE AN ARZA MEMBER
Here are some important points for Progressive Jews to consider as to why it is critical to join ARZA:
1. ARZA membership numbers directly relate to allocation of funds to our institutions, including ARZENU (the parent of ARZA), the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ, our parent body) and Netzer Olami.
2. Donations to Israel for land purchases were collected from Jews from around the world. Most donors would not have been Ultra-Orthodox, but Progressive: Reform, Conservative and secular. These donations were invested in property in Israel.
3. KKL, which received those donations, is now a major property owner in Israel. It owns malls, office buildings and factories. Those Blue Box donations have produced a miracle.
4. Every year, KKL distributes large sums to a variety of organisations, including Netzer Olami (Netzer’s organising body), ARZA Olami (ARZA’s organising body) and IMPJ (our sister organisation in Israel). Without these grants, those bodies would not be able to effectively operate.
5. Israel is the only country in the world in which its Diaspora has a real voice, and this is through the World Zionist Congress (WZC). The WZC has a real say in the allocation of funds each year from KKL.
6. The Israeli Government listens carefully to resolutions from the WZC, and resolutions have a direct impact on issues in Israel which affect our Movement. It is critical to us that our views on issues, such as settlements, the status of our rabbis, support for Progressive congregations and religious rights of women be heard.
7. Unless we are properly represented at the WZC, it will be dominated by Orthodox voices. In addition, key appointments will be dominated by Orthodox appointees and they will pursue a narrow Orthodox agenda.
8. In that case, grants from KKL, funded by its property holdings, will go exclusively to Orthodox causes and this will be a disaster for the IMPJ, Netzer Olami and ARZA. Our institutions in Israel will be decimated.
9. How do we stop this from happening? The answer is so simple: The more members of ARZA we have, the greater the composition of Progressive voices in the WZC.
10. Reading through the above points, you will see that for the simple process of as many Progressive Jews joining ARZA as possible, there will be huge leverage on our voice in Israel and in funding to our institutions.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN ARZA NOW! Call 0420 973 909
The Union for Progressive Judaism is grateful to the Rabbinic Council of Australian, New Zealand and Asian Progressive Rabbis for preparing a statement of congratulations to the new emperor of Japan, which was sent to the Japanese ambassador to Australia. Click on "Read More" to view the statement
The Union for Progressive Judaism and the Rabbinic Council of Australian, New Zealand and Asian Progressive Rabbis are devastated by yet another attack on a house of worship, this time on the Chabad Centre in Poway, California. To read the statement they issued, click on Read More.
My Good News, column by Roger Mendelson from the UPJ Weekly News & Drash (28/29 June 2019)
Our Movement has been at the forefront of progressive social values.
This began with the very early days of Classic Reform, in the early 1800s, when gender equality was introduced, at a time well before women had voting rights and very few other rights, in the broader community.
With social progress over the following 200 years, our rabbis have been there.
Marriage equality was the latest issue where we were at the front of the pack.
The latest hot-button issue is "assisted dying".
It has been escalated by the passage into law of the Assisted Dying Act in Victoria.
Rabbi Nathan and Shelly Alfred (United Hebrew Congregation of Singapore) are going through a most trying time. Their six-month-old son has undergone complicated kidney and brain surgeries. His treatment is ongoing and will include more surgery and extensive medical treatment. In addition to prayers for his full recovery, our Progressive family can help in a funding campaign to assist with the massive financial burden. You can donate in two ways: