What rabbi goes to a conference during the busiest time of year, three weeks before the clock strikes 8:00 pm for our Erev Rosh Hashanah service?!
Well, Rabbi Max and I made the journey this week to Washington, D.C. for AIPAC’s* National Rabbinic Symposium. There, I joined with rabbis from across the country to engage in learning sessions about the American-Israel relationship. Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Republican, Democrat, and everything in between – we came together because we know the importance of a strong relationship with the land, the people, and the State of Israel.
During my time at the conference, I had two special opportunities to gather with other rabbis specifically from the Reform Movement. I had the pleasure of hearing from and continuing to build a relationship with Rabbi Josh Weinberg, head of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. This organization means so much to me, because in addition to advocating for the safety and security of Israel, which I do through AIPAC, ARZA provides a platform for addressing issues of civil marriage, acceptance of non-Orthodox conversion, acceptance of non-Orthodox rabbis, rights for the LGBTQ community, and much more.
In this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, we read the famous line, tzedek tzedek tirdof, “justice, justice, you shall pursue.” Though we do a disservice when we pause at the end of this phrase, for the verse continues, “that you may thrive and inherit the land that Adonai your God is giving you” (Deut. 16:20). When we pursue justice, it is not only for our everyday life, but as an imperative for our connection to Israel, our inherited land.
Israel has a right to protect her borders from rocket fire, fire-carrying balloons, and underground tunnels. I will always make the time to fit Israel into my busy life, and I hope you will join me in that effort. We pursue justice for Israel when we lobby our elected officials toward supporting policy that provides funding for Israel’s safety and security. Pursue justice, join your clergy at AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. March 24-26, 2019. Registration is live: click HERE.
If this is your first time hearing about ARZA, I encourage you to learn more HERE
*AIPAC = American Israel Public Affairs Committee
ARZA = Association of Reform Zionists of America