Dear members of Reform Judaism,
During the Covid-19 crisis, we have been humbled by the outstanding efforts of individual communities, and proud of the work of your rabbis and cantors. In adversity, we are proving our strength as a national movement, coming together to celebrate, support and commemorate.
We are with you at this challenging time, working with your community to ensure that Jewish communal life not only continues, but prospers. RSY-Netzer is providing outstanding programming for young people, RJ:TV broadcasts interactive sessions daily and our communities ensure that services continue online. We have had a national audience for ceremonies marking moments such as Pesach and Israeli Independence. Over 800 members from around the UK joined us on Zoom for a moving Yom Hashoah commemoration, one that proved that it is possible to feel close, even when we are physically distant. Our tekes for Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut were enjoyed by 400 members all around the country and we could not have done it without the support of all our communities along with the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors. Rabbi Gilad Kariv, President and CEO, Israel Reform Movement spoke of the importance of Reform Judaism and you can watch it here.
This is a challenging time for many families and individuals. We have lost loved ones, and many of us are worried about what the future may bring. There is no avoiding this. We also believe that what we have all learnt and delivered during this time will stay with us for years to come, as new ways of working, new spiritual practices and new relationships are formed.
We don’t yet know how we will look back on this challenging time, but without doubt it will fill us with memories of coming together against adversity, something that the Jewish people have been doing for millennia. We’ll remember a Seder like no other, a time when we supported the most vulnerable and when we joined together with strength as Reform Judaism. We’ll tell future generations that we couldn’t congregate, so we decided to innovate. Or, as our ancestors may have described it, we had a choice, as it is described in Torah, and in our generation, we chose life.
We look forward to seeing you face-to-face soon, in better times.
All the very best,
Everyone at Reform Judaism