Dear Community Members,
As you may have heard, the Israeli government recently decided to promote legislation that would only recognize conversions performed by the Orthodox Israeli Rabbinate. This decision excludes the thousands of conversions performed by outside entities and thereby disenfranchises members of the Jewish community in Israel and all over the world. In addition, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Cabinet has suspended the long-fought agreement to allow for an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, a plan that was approved by the government in January 2016 and one which JEWISHcolorado and the Federation system strongly endorsed.
JEWISHcolorado is extremely disheartened by the actions taken by the Government of Israel this week. We believe they threaten the rights of millions of Israeli and Diaspora Jews practicing religious freedom across all denominations.
JEWISHcolorado’s Board Chair, Diana Zeff Anderson, is currently in Israel with our overseas partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). The group cancelled a scheduled dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu Monday night and instead spent the day at the Knesset discussing these disappointing developments.
“As Board Chair of JEWISHcolorado and a member of JAFI’s Board of Governors, I passionately believe in making the Jewish world more united and inclusive,” said Diana Zeff Anderson. “The actions of the Israeli Government jeopardize this unity. As JAFI has eloquently stated, ‘the Kotel should be One Wall for One People.’ I wholeheartedly agree, and I join JEWISHcolorado and other partner organizations around the world in urging the Government to reverse its course of action and to respect the religious practices of all Jews.”
JEWISHcolorado will continue to work with a broad coalition of Israelis supporting religious pluralism. These include our partnership region of Ramat HaNegev, the Consulate General of Israel, and our Israeli emissaries who work every day to strengthen the connection between our Colorado Jewish community and the State of Israel. JEWISHcolorado also stands with our national organization, Jewish Federations of North American (JFNA), and our overseas partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel. For links to their respective statements on these issues, please click on the links below.
We encourage you to stay informed, to share these statements, and to make your voices heard.
JEWISHcolorado, founded in 1946 and formerly known as Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, is the umbrella community organization focused on building and sustaining Jewish life in Colorado, Israel and around the world. Its mission is to secure, steward, and share philanthropic and human resources in support of vibrant Jewish life as well as to mobilize the community in times of need. JEWISHcolorado is a member of the Jewish Federations of North America, which is among the top ten charities on the continent. JEWISHcolorado raises and distributes funds in support of a wide variety of programs and partner organizations both locally and globally. In 2016, JEWISHcolorado’s total financial resource development was $22.4 million. Its Endowment and Planned Giving arm houses more than $62 million in long-term assets for individuals, agencies and synagogues in the community. For more information, visit www.JEWISHcolorado.org or Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.