Tag: Western Wall

Head of US Conservative synagogue network warns of ‘distancing’ between Israeli, Diaspora Jews

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli and Diaspora Jewry are in a “very precarious place,” the head of the Conservative movement’s synagogue organization in the United States, Rabbi Steven Wernick, warned members of Israel’s Knesset.

Wernick, CEO of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, spoke Tuesday in front of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, which was meeting in a special session devoted to Israel’s image abroad.

“We are on the edge; on the edge of very real, very serious and very harmful distancing of Israeli Jewry with Diaspora Jewry,” Wernick said in his remarks.

Wernick addressed the…

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt meets with families of Israelis held in Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, met with the families of Israelis believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

Greenblatt, who arrived in Israel this week, met Monday evening with the families of Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed to discuss the situation of the two men, a statement from the White House said. The family of Jumaa Abu Ghanima, was unable to attend the meeting.

Greenblatt “expressed outrage that Hamas has not allowed the Israelis, some of whom may need medical assistance, to communicate with their families and return home,” according…

US envoy David Greenblatt to meet with Ambassador David Friedman in Israel

(JTA) — Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, is returning to Israel.

Greenblatt was scheduled to leave the United States for Israel Sunday evening, according to a White House official. The official said Greenblatt is heading to Israel to meet with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

“While the primary purpose of his trip is to meet with the ambassador now that the ambassador is on the ground and fully installed in his position, Greenblatt will also likely be taking meetings relevant to both the Israelis and the Palestinians,” the official said, calling the…

Fed-up Reform leaders are thinking twice about their donations to Israel

NEW YORK (JTA) — Daryl Messinger knows she’s going to visit Israel again. But the next time she flies there, it won’t be on El Al.

Messinger, the chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, will be boycotting Israel’s national airline as part of her protest of the Israeli government’s two votes last week that empowered its Orthodox sector at the expense of more liberal groups. She’s also going to make a point of buying non-kosher wines produced in Israel — a show of support for Jews who don’t observe traditional kosher laws.

“I want to make sure my…

American Jews really care about pluralism. But it’s not just about pluralism.

(JTA) — The Great Jewish Revolt of 2017. The Bar Kotel Rebellion. The Diaspora Strikes Back.

Whatever you call it, last week’s clash between American Jewish leaders and the Netanyahu government felt louder, angrier and more significant than previous clashes over pluralism in Israel.

That may be because it wasn’t only about pluralism.

That’s not to say that pluralism isn’t important. The non-Orthodox Jewish groups who fought hard for a space and a say at the Western Wall — only to see the agreement frozen — want their versions of Judaism to be treated with respect in Israel. They knew that…