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Friday 11 April 2008

Weekly update 04/04/08

Dear Members,

It was great to see so many people at our AGM last week. Thank you to
Mani Silverman, Hon. Secretary of Pro Zion, for chairing the meeting.
Thank you also to Robert Kramer, Treasurer of Pro Zion, for presenting
our healthy accounts. Following the Chairman's report that highlighted
the exciting activity over the last year, and some of the plans for the
coming year we had a very interesting panel discussion on 'how do we
bring Israel to our communities'. Giving the keynote address was
Shelley Kedar, Director of Professional Development at the Leo Baeck
Education Centre in Haifa. Shelley was followed by three interesting
responses from Daniel Needlestone, co-Chair of Pro Zion; Meirav Kallush,
Shlicha of the Movement for Reform Judaism and RSY-Netzer; and Noa
Marom, Shlicha of Liberal Judaism and LJY-Netzer. Our next edition of
Shema will include the keynote and the responses. If anyone has any
thoughts on this topic, then please write in and we will choose some to
publish also. Finally, we would like to wish Rabbi Neil Janes for
chairing the panel discussion, and Finchley Progressive Synagogue for
kindly hosting us.

We have four articles attached for you this week. We have an update
from IRAC regarding their recent work in combating racism in Israel. We
also have a report from the WUPJ on the recent European Region
conference in Vienna. Next we have an article calling for more
pluralism within Judaism, arguing that there is a need for the different
denominations in Judaism to overcome their theological differences and
work together. Finally we have an article about the launch of a new
anthology of Torah commentary entitled The Torah: A Women's Commentary.
The anthology was written by 100 theologians, historians, sociologists,
scholars, anthropologists, poets, rabbis, and cantors from the US,
Canada, Israel and South America – all of them women – taking a fresh
look at the Torah. The event was hosted by HUC-JIR and Beit Daniel, the
Progressive congregation in Tel Aviv.
As ever, we enjoy hearing your news and thoughts.

Shabbat Shalom,
Charlie, Daniel and all at Pro Zion


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