The Progressive Israel Committee focuses its interest on programs and projects which will help to expand pluralism within Israeli society. The committee looks for areas where it can help expand the progressive agenda in Israel and make TBE congregants aware of ways in which we can work to improve conditions, thereby enabling all voices to be heard. We look to educate our TBE members on current issues in Israel, such as gender equality; gay rights; inequitable government allocations for schools, synagogues and other public services; peace efforts, etc., and suggest actions based on our liberal Jewish values.
Wednesday, May 17, 8:30am
Breakfast Briefing with Sharon Abraham Weiss
New Israel Fund will introduce us to Sharon Abraham-Weiss, Executive Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The ACRI does work in Israel similar to the ACLU in the US.
RVP to Michael Gilman, [email protected].
Sharon Abraham-Weiss, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Bio: Sharon Abraham-Weiss is Executive Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). Previously, she worked for ACRI as an attorney and also served on the Finance Ministry’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Sharon is a founding member of Itach-Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice. She holds LL.B. and B.Sc. degrees from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an LL.M from Tel Aviv University, and an M.A. in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School, where she was a Wexner Fellow.
Grantee Profile: ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties in Israel. ACRI primarily uses legal advocacy to defend human rights. Since its inception in 1972, ACRI has successfully brought precedent-setting impact litigation to the Supreme Court on issues of Arab minority rights, freedom of expression, LGBT rights, East Jerusalem, Migrant Workers, refugees and asylum seekers, women’s rights, housing rights, and child rights. In addition to its legal advocacy, ACRI also works to educate the Israeli public by producing educational curricula for schools and holding public lectures and conferences on issues of human rights, racism, and civil liberties.
In layperson’s terms, it’s Israel’s ACLU.
NIF Relationship: ACRI is NIF’s flagship grantee and receives a core grant of $400,000 yearly. In 2013, NIF also provided nearly $2 million in Donor Advised funds. NIF’s relationship with ACRI is an integral part of our work on the ground.
ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) is “TAKING BACK THE Z”: An unapologetic love for Israel, the land, the people and the State, is at the core of our beliefs. Modern Zionism encompasses our values of democracy, pluralism, and equality. That love of Israel demands honesty and a commitment to the continuation of building a morally exceptional society in the Jewish state. This is not a new concept. But today’s challenges demand nuanced action and strong leadership. ARZA provides the vehicle, the voice, the Movement.
Given ARZA’s love for the people of Israel, the organization has most recently been engaged in two pressing matters: Collecting funds to help those touched by the terrible fires that ravaged many areas in Israel. And, on another front, ARZA has joined with its friends and colleagues in the Conservative Movement to speak out against the hatred expressed by those who desecrated the Kehilat Ra'anan Reform synagogue in Ra'anana.