|THE World Union for Progressive Judaism has called for emergency funding to help the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), which has been hard hit by the current global economic downturn and devalued US dollar, forcing it to make massive staff cutbacks.
Reform synagogues, seminaries and rabbinic organizations in the US and Canada have joined in the campaign on behalf of the Israeli movement. An e-mail sent to more than 70 000 leaders of Reform Jewry in North America said:
“We need your help to save the future of the Reform Movement in Israel. Through no fault of its own, the IMPJ has 2 million fewer shekels than originally budgeted, representing more than 30 percent of its funding. To stay afloat, the IMPJ has had to lay off half its staff and has drastically cut back on its operations.”
The timing of this financial crisis is a blow to the increasingly dynamic growth of Progressive Judaism, the branch with which more Israelis identify than Orthodoxy. Many thousands of Israeli Jews are now enjoying this spiritual alternative – through worship, education and social action – thanks to the efforts of dedicated movement staff and volunteers. Their programs and support are now gravely threatened by the current revenue shortfall.
The goal of the appeal is to raise at least $500,000 to alleviate this emergency and sustain the movement. Contributions are being coordinated in the US at www.urj.org/israel/impj.
(Edited extract from an article on the Union for Reform Judaism website).
The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) is Israel’s liberal Jewish religious movement, and a member of the World Union of Progressive Judaism.
The World Union for Progressive Judaism is the international umbrella organisation of the Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1 200 congregations with 1.7 million members in 42 countries.
The central body of the Reform Movement in North America, founded in 1873. It is the largest Jewish movement in North America and represents 1.5 million Jews in more than 900 congregations.