Welcome to the website of the Australian Reform Zionist Association (ARZA). ARZA works to help ensure that Israel can live in peace and security, both within, and at the borders of her neighbours. ARZA works to ensure that Israel is a democratic and inclusive society for all of its inhabitants and is a spiritual home for all Jews. ARZA Australia represents the values and views of Progressive Jews locally and, via our global parent organisation ARZENU, around the world.
Hate graffiti sprayed on walls of Kehilat Ra'anan allude to controversy over Western Wall egalitarian prayer space deal.
The Western Wall was a scene of pandemonium and unprecedented violence on Wednesday morning, after Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders broke through security barriers with Torah scrolls in their arms, in defiance of the ultra-Orthodox authorities who run the holy site, in protest against Israel's inaction on providing a promised egalitarian prayer space.
When MKs, ministers and prominent (state-funded) rabbis call us Reform Jews 'dogs' and 'idolaters' and face no sanction, who's surprised their devotees now attack our synagogues and threaten our leaders?
This is my first private visit to Israel after completing my term as President of ARZA Australia but it has changed my view of many things there.
When planning my trip I realised that I would be in Jerusalem for Rosh Chodesh.
Rosh HaShannah - the Jewish new year of 5777 is almost upon us. In households around the world, people will gather for time with family and festive meals. Unfortunately, for too many Israeli families, the holiday season is also a reminder of financial strain and socio-economic struggle. Close to two million Israelis live under the poverty line and struggle day in and day out with making ends meet. The holiday season, a time of hightened expenses, provides for a sore reminder of this reality.
I hope you have been enjoying the summer and finding time for some vacation and relaxation. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you recent developments in our movement.
First and foremost, last night, the Israeli government passed an unheard of before bill: subverting a Supreme Court decision, the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) parties pushed a bill to effectively ban non-Orthodox, i.e. Reform and Conservative converts from bathing in municipal Mikvaot (ritual baths). We cannot stress enough the magnitude of harm that this bill causes. The bill allows municipal councils to sign agreements with the State regarding convert bathing in Mikvaot, but refuse to do that same with other bodies, with the explicit goal of subverting the recent Supreme Court decision, mandating religious councils to allow Reform and Conservative converts to bathe in public Mikvaot.