Over 280 attendees joined us at this year’s Shira Herzog Symposium at Hot Docs. We were thrilled to host three leaders of NIFC’s funded projects in Israel – experts, activists, and defenders of democracy. Tamar Rechnitz, Mohammad Darawshe, and Aviv Tatarsky — who defend democracy, justice, and equality in Israel every day. Our guests also spoke to audiences in synagogues in Thornhill and Oakville. Continue reading
An OpEd by NIF’s Rabbi Ayelet Cohen and Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovits
Originally published in the Forward
Many progressive Jews struggle with whether Tisha B’av still has resonance when Judaism has evolved so far beyond Temple service. We wonder whether a full day of mourning for Jewish destruction and exile is still called for when we have a sovereign State of Israel and the accompanying reality of national power.
But the sages say that the Second Temple was destroyed because of sinat chinam — baseless hatred — and, today, sinat chinam is rampant; it is promoted as a political tool. This, unfortunately, makes Tisha B’Av more relevant than ever. Continue reading
There’s a widening chasm in values between Canada and Israel. Is it irreversible?
Israel’s political map is presently deeply divided – nearly 50/50 split between left and right political perspectives. Yet solid majorities still confess to support the two-state solution, gender equality, religious pluralism, minority rights, freedom of the press, and minority rights. Continue reading
If all of Am Yisrael (the Jewish people) could display the same tolerance and ahavat chinam (causeless love) as Tamar Rechnitz’s family, we’d be a step closer to the Messianic age.
Tamar, 37, is education director of Tag Meir (Light Tag), a coalition of 48 organizations that immediately responds to racist “Price Tag” actions in Israel. She grew up in an Orthodox, right-wing family in the West Bank town of Efrat, and attended a religious girls’ high school founded by former American Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. Two of her brothers, one of whom is a religious court judge, are “on the very conservative end of the right.” But the family remains close, with frequent visits and respectful discussions. Continue reading