An Open Letter to PM Netanyahu: Take Action to Strengthen Jewish Pluralism and Unity

Like many in the Jewish community, the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus Executive is concerned by recent Israeli decisions regarding the management of the Kotel (Western Wall) and the recognition of conversions in Israel outside the purview of the Chief Rabbinate.

This is why, with the support of CIJA and the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, we are writing directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu to ask that he take action to reverse these decisions. Below is the text of the letter, which has been signed by dozens of Canadian rabbis, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist representatives.

If you are a Canadian rabbi who would like to add your name to this letter, please contact us asap

If you are a member of the Canadian Jewish community and would like to endorse this letter, please add your name below and help spread the word!

 

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing as a group of rabbis reflecting the broad spectrum of Jewish practice in Canada, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist congregations. While we are diverse in our political and religious views, we are united in our passion for Israel, our love for Israelis, and our unshakeable commitment to the security and prosperity of the Jewish State.

Promoting a love of Israel among our congregants is a keystone of our daily work. We are proud that the Canadian Jewish community demonstrates an exceptional commitment to Zionism and a strong Jewish State, and has been enormously successful in building bridges between Canada and Israel at all levels.

It is in this context that we are writing to convey our profound disappointment and frustration regarding the Ministerial Committee for Legislation’s decision to advance a bill that bans government agencies from recognizing conversions performed in Israel beyond the purview of the Chief Rabbinate. In addition to the serious challenges this decision poses to rabbis and Jews-by-choice alike, it is a significant setback for Jewish religious pluralism in the world’s only Jewish homeland.

We are no less disappointed by the Israeli cabinet’s recent decision to quash the “one wall for one people” compromise agreement regarding the Kotel. Just as every Jew should feel they have a physical home in Israel if they need or desire it, every Jew should feel they have a spiritual home in our ancestral and holy land – and the opportunity to connect with the sites that have inspired Jews for time immemorial.

We ask that you take immediate steps to reverse these worrisome decisions. Doing so would reaffirm your government’s commitment to the freedom of every Jew to grow in their religious and Zionist identity.

We believe in Jewish unity, not uniformity. The spectrum of Jewish practice is diverse, but it need not lead to divisiveness. Our differences are eclipsed by all that unites us: millennia of shared history and a shared future. What happens to Jews today – no matter where they live or where they attend synagogue – invariably affects us all.

We are an indivisible people, which is why we are deeply concerned by these and any other actions that unnecessarily foment division within amcha.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

The Canadian Rabbinic Caucus

 

Rabbi Eytan Kenter

Kehillat Beth Israel

Ottawa, ON

 

Rabbi Edward Elkin,

First Narayever Congregation

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Steven Garten

Rabbi Emeritus

Temple Israel

Ottawa, ON

 

Rabbi Raysh Weiss

Shaar Shalom

Halifax, NS

 

Rabbi Micah Streiffer

Temple Kol Ami

Thornhill, ON

 

Rabbi Chezi Zionce

Beit Rayim Synagogue

Vaughan, ON

 

Rabbi Jordan Helfman

Holy Blossom Temple

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Leigh Lerner

Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom,

Montreal, QC

 

Rabbi Louis Sachs

Beth Tikvah Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Jarrod Grover

Beth Tikvah Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Catharine Clark

Congregation Or Shalom

London, Ontario

 

Rabbi David Seed

Adath Israel Congregation

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Jennifer Gorman

MERCAZ-Canada & Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Michael Satz

Holy Blossom Temple

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich

Beth Sholom Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli

Beth Jacob Synagogue

Hamilton ON

 

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

City Shul

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Howard Morrison

Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Michal Shekel

Toronto Board of Rabbis

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Stephen Wise

Shaarei-Beth El Congregation 

Oakville, ON


Rabbi Anibal Mass

Congregation Shaarey Zedek

​Winnipeg, MB

Rabbi Lionel Moses

Shaare Zedek Congregation

Montreal, QC

Rabbi Jordan D. Cohen

Temple Anshe Sholom

Hamilton, ON

Rabbi Michael Whitman

Adath Israel Poale Zedek Anshei Ozeroff

Hampstead, QC

Rabbi Sherril Gilbert

Congregation Dorshei Emet

Côte Saint-Luc, QC

Rabbi Dan Moskovitz

Temple Sholom

Vancouver, BC

Yes! I endorse the position of the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus on this important matter.

Spread the Word on Social Media

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
 

Rabbi Reuben Poupko

Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation

Montreal, QC

 

Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl

Beth Tzedec Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Debra Landsberg

Temple Emanu-El

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Jonathan Infeld

Congregation Beth Israel

Vancouver, BC

 

Rabbi Jeremy Parnes

Beth Jacob Synagogue

Regina, SK

 

Rabbi Lawrence Englander

Chair, ARZENU, International Reform Zionist Organization

Rabbi Emeritus, Solel Congregation

Mississauga, ON

Rabbi Philip Scheim

Beth David B'nai Israel Beth Am Synagogue

Toronto, ON

Rabbi Michael Dolgin

Temple Sinai

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Philip Bregman

Rabbi/Executive Director of Hillel BC

Vancouver, BC

Rabbi Yael Splansky

Holy Blossom Temple

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Miriam Margles

Danforth Jewish Circle

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Erin Polansky

Neshamah Congregation

Thornhill, ON

 

Rabbi Aaron Katchen

Mizrachi Bayit

North York, ON

 

Rabbi Shaul Osadchey

Beth Tzedec Congregation

Calgary, AB

 

Rabbi Sean Gorman

Pride of Israel Synagogue

North York, ON

 

Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey Haber

Director, Department of Spiritual Care

Baycrest

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Karen Soria

Beth Israel Congregation

Kingston, ON 

 

Jonah Rank, Maskil

Shaar Shalom Synagogue

Halifax, NS

 

Rabbi Lori Cohen

Temple Shalom

Waterloo, ON

 

Rabbi Deborah Zuker

Agudath Israel Congregation

Ottawa, ON 

Rabbi Steven Schwarzman

Beth El

TMR, QC

Rabbi Chaim Strauchler

Shaarei Shomayim Congregation

Toronto, ON

Rabbi Alan Green

Congregation Shaarey Zedek

Winnipeg, MB

Rabbi Joshua Corber

Beth Tzedec Congregation

Calgary, AB

Rabbi Matthew Leibl

Congregation Shaarey Zedek

Winnipeg, MB

Rabbi Rena Arshinoff

Toronto, ON

Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld

Rabbi Emeritus

Temple Emanu-El

North York, ON

 

Rabbi Mark Glickman

Temple B’nai Tikvah

Calgary, AB

 

Rabbi Rob Morais

Temple Israel Ottawa

Ottawa, ON

 

Rabbi Roy Tanenbaum

Rosh Yeshiva, Canadian Yeshiva & Rabbinical School

Toronto, Ontario

 

Rabbi Shalom Schachter 

Beth Tzedec Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi David Bluman 

Congregation Beth Israel

Vancouver, BC

 

Rabbi Michael S. Stroh

Holy Blossom Temple

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Aaron Levy

Kiever Synagogue

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Edward Goldfarb

Holy Blossom Temple

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Carey Brown

Temple Sholom

Vancouver, BC

 

Rabbi Tina Grimberg

Congregation Darchei Noam

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Hannah Dresner

Or Shalom Synagogue

Vancouver, BC

 

Rabbi Adam Stein

Congregation Beth Israel

Vancouver, BC

 

Rabbi Irit Printz

A World Without Bullying

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Wayne Allen, PHD

Toronto Jewish High School

Toronto, ON

 

Rabbi Harry Brechner

Congregation Emanu-El

Victoria BC

 

Rabbi Alan W. Bright

Shaare Zedek Congregation

Montreal, QC

Rabbi Adam Cutler

Beth Tzedec Synagogue

Toronto, ON

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

Temple Emanu-El-Beth Shalom

Montreal, QC

Rabbi Cory Weiss

Temple Har Zion

Thornhill, ON

Dr. Mordecai Zeitz

Rabbi Emeritus

Congregation Beth Tikvah Ahavat Shalom Nusach Hoari

DDO, QC

Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky

Congregation Agudas Israel

Saskatoon, SK

Rabbi Kliel Rose

Beth Shalom Synagogue

Edmonton, AB

Rabbi Jeffrey Ableser

Congregation Beth El

Windsor, ON

Rabbi Boris Dolin

Congregation Dorshei Emet, Hampstead QC

Rabbi Audrey S. Pollack

Solel Congregation

Mississauga, ON

Rabbi Karen Soria

Beth Israel Congregation

Kingston, ON