Israel’s education minister has made comments that “assimilation is like a second Holocast”. Rafi Peretz made this comment during a session discussing issues concerning diaspora Jews, including the global threat of anti-Semitism.
Senior Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has joined many prominent figures from the global Jewish community in condemning these remarks, saying: “The choices that individual Jews make in their personal life should never be compared to the brutal horrors inflicted on our community during the Shoah. We learn in our tradition that a person who is once a Jew is always a Jew, and that we are all responsible for one another. We should be discussing how best to help all Jews feel included in our community, not pushing them away with such extreme and vile rhetoric.”
Rabbi Janner-Klausner added: “These remarks add to an environment of hostility towards Progressive Judaism and the Jewish diaspora. As always, Reform Judaism in the UK stands side-by-side with our friends and colleagues who are struggling to achieve equality for Progressive Judaism in Israel against a backdrop of intolerance and an entrenched ultra-Orthodox monopoly of Judaism. Founded as the Jewish State, Israel must be a State which is truly for all Jews regardless of how they express their religion and which works in partnership with communities in the diaspora. We will always condemn those who seek to whip up intolerance between Jews and respond positively to all requests for support from those on the ground working to build the Israel that we as Reform Zionists would all want to see realised.”