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Reform Jews set out progressive values to Israeli Ambassador

Reform Judaism hosted Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely for a Hannukah candle lighting ceremony to set out our progressive values. Clergy, community chairs and supporters joined us for our first meeting with the new ambassador on Wednesday December 16. The event was led by an all-female team of clergy and Ambassador Hotovely began the event by noting her admiration for the strong female leadership present in Reform Judaism.  She said she was “excited to be among female leaders” and added that she saw herself “as a big feminist”. 

Members of Reform communities were glad to have had the opportunity to speak with Ambassador Hotovely to express their concerns and hopes for Israel’s future. They engaged with the ambassador on issues such as religious pluralism within Israel, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and human rights for the Palestinian people.  The ambassador responded that she welcomed the dialogue and also encouraged those who wanted to effect change “to step up and get political power”.

Amit Handelsman, Director of Community Partnership, said “While we acknowledge our differences of opinion, Reform Judaism has started a conversation with Ambassador Hotovely to ensure she understands the progressive Zionist values we hold. We are proud to be a critical friend of Israel and hope to be able to continue to have robust and honest conversations with the Israeli Embassy, which the Ambassador indicated she will welcome.”

He added that “Reform Judaism remains guided by our key values and principles of peace, democracy, equality, human rights and pluralism. We are committed to two viable states as the only just and realistic solution to the present situation. We work closely and in partnership with our brothers and sisters in the Israeli Reform Movement to create a better and just Israel for all its inhabitants.” 

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