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Israel and World Jewry

Support for the Worldwide Reform Movement

Congregation Shir Hadash is proud to be part of a regional effort to support the work of the Reform movement around the world. We are also active in ARZA the Association of Reform Zionist of America. More information about our activities can be obtained by e mailing Gordon Gladstone at execdir@shirhadash.org.

Overseas Visits to Reform Congregations

It is important to make pre-arrangements in visiting Reform congregations around the world because of security concerns. This can be done through the website of the World Union.

Suuport for Reform Congregations Overseas

At Shir Hadash we have also been involved in projects to provide financial support for Reform congregations overseas and to encourage our members to visit Reform congregations when they travel for business or pleasure. One of the congregation’s Torah scrolls is on long term loan to a congregation in Rosh Pina Israel. Previously the Torah was on loan in Germany and in southern Israel.

We are partnered with Kehillat Rosh Pina, Israel, as part of the Domim-aLike project—the Israel-Diaspora relations project of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism. Domim–aLike was established together with the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. It fosters partnerships between Reform and Progressive congregations in Israel and around the world.

Below are photos and the press release from the Torah dedication cermony had in March 2015 in Rosh Pina. You can learn more about this synagogue at their web site (Hebrew) and their new English newsletter (PDF).

Klal Yisrael in Practice: Rosh Pina Reform Congregation Receives First Torah Scroll from California's Shir Hadash

A powerful example of Jewish solidarity took place on March 20 when the Rosh Pina Reform Congregation (RPRC) unveiled its first Torah Scroll, donated by California's Congregation Shir Hadash.

RPRC's Rabbi Golan Ben-Chorin recollected that his congregation was "introduced to Shir Hadash and its spiritual leader Rabbi Melanie Aron through the WUPJ. Inspired by our intention to use the scroll in schools and other educational settings, ceremonial occasions and study sessions, and thanks to the generosity of the Shir Hadash community, the two congregations are now building bridges through Torah."

Specifically, the WUPJ's Shomrei Torah program facilitated the connection between the Rosh Pina Reform Congregation and Congregation Shir Hadash. Since 1984, this initiative has ensured that Progressive Jewish communities around the world have access to the most basic of Jewish spiritual objects – a Torah scroll.

To date, the Shomrei Torah project has succeeded in sending over 100 Torah scrolls to congregations around the world.

The Hachnasat Sefer Torah ceremony took place in the 130-year-old courtyard of the building that RPRC is temporarily calling home. Musicians played as congregation members brought the Torah Scroll into the synagogue.

The local family that built RPRC's firs Ark then attached the Parochet, the ritual curtain that adorns the Ark. The Parochet was hand made by one of RPRC's founding members two years ago. Six other community families had earlier chosen verses and embroidered them onto material prepared by yet another family. The belt was then wrapped around the Torah, forever binding tradition, innovation and the Rosh Pina community together.

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