Introducing Israel ConnectRS

Have you been reading Staying Connected’s fascinating factoids about Israel’s scientific advances? Did your children enjoy Israeli dance and a falafel lunch last May to celebrate Israel Independence Day? Did you hear the D’var Torah of Rabbi Tamir Nir, spiritual leader of our new sister-synagogue in Israel, Kehilat Achva Bakerem?  

All these developments come through the efforts of Rodeph Shalom’s newest Connection Group – Israel ConnectRS – initiated and chaired by Ned Hanover with the help of Rabbi Eli Freedman.  Ned faithfully attended monthly meetings with Rabbi Josh Weinberg, VP of the Union for Reform Judaism. With Rabbi Weinberg’s guidance and inspiration, Reform congregations throughout the US are strengthening bonds with our Jewish homeland and bringing to the forefront Israel’s remarkable accomplishments.  

“It has been a joy to watch Israel ConnectRS blossom over the last 12 months,” Ned said.  “It started as simply an idea to engage our Rodeph Shalom family on the topic of Israel.  Now it is just amazing to see a passionate group bring this vision to life by creating innovative programming.”

“Keeping with Rodeph Shalom’s vision of connection, Israel ConnectRS aspires to forge new and meaningful bonds between our congregation and the land and people of Israel,” Rabbi Freedman said. “I am so excited for all we have done so far and hope to do in the future.”

Israel ConnectRS has ambitious and exciting plans for this coming year.  Among the most anticipated: the Israel Speakers Series. Elaine Crane, co-chair of the series said, “We’re extremely pleased and proud to bring Jason Isaacson, internationally acclaimed authority on the Abraham Accords, to inaugurate our series.” 

Among Israel ConnectRS’ 25 congregant members are RS Past Presidents Rick Berkman and Fred Strober, whose long experience and connections to the broader Jewish world have already benefited this young group. “It is time for Rodeph Shalom to become more involved in discussions with and about Israel,” Rick said. “We are all part of one Jewish people.”

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