Daniel Goldschmidt

Daniel Goldschmidt – Response to Remarks by the President of ARZA

Daniel Goldschmidt - Response to Remarks by the President of ARZA

Rabbi Joshua Weinberg addresses the ARZA delegation to the World Zionist Congress on October 18, 2015 in Jerusalem (Dale Lazar)


Daniel Goldschmidt – Response to Remarks by the President of ARZA

Congratulations are certainly due ARZA(American Reform Zionist Association) which through their efforts was able to solicit enough support to be 40% of the recent Zionist World Congress held in Jerusalem October 20-22.  As a former ARZA chairman in two Synagogues in the US, a person that made Aliyah over five years ago and that is active now in the Reform Movement in Israel I feel I am particularly well qualified to respond to the recent remarks by Rabbi Weinberg the President of ARZA.(see article below)


I fully understand the need for Reform Jews in America to be well connected to Israel since it is the only Jewish country in the world and that Reform Judaism represents according to the Pew report by far the largest bloc of Judaism in America.  However, due to the fallacious American media coverage in most cases and the limited knowledge and education that most Reform American Jews are exposed to there is a real danger of not being fully informed of our history, geography, and the current issues of Israel. For example it appears that many liberal American Jews are not aware that Israel was founded to be a safe haven for Jews wherever they may be endangered.   According to the Pew report only 36% of American Reform Jews have visited Israel and then for a very limited period of time.  Several programs already exist such as Taglit, MASA, SAREL, and many other special tours that should be more effectively funded and supported.


So as far as the criticisms you have put forth we will certainly take them under advisement. But don’t be shocked if we don’t rush to do what you tell us to do. We of course appreciate your desire to help, your concerns, and speeches. But if you really want to make a difference, then your efforts should be focused on making Aliyah. That way you can vote in our elections to get the Israeli government you want, rather than criticize the government that we elected and tell us to change it. You will be able to work on the ground to fix what is broken in our society instead of telling us about how broken it is. One of the biggest shocks I had when I made Aliyah was the recognition that former US Jews and particularly Reform US Jews makeup a minuscule segment of our population.


We need more Reform Aliyah, as opposed to Reform speeches and Reform money (OK thanks for the money). Meanwhile thanks for the “tough love” but no thanks. We will just have to continue muddling through.



Daniel Goldschmidt – Response to Remarks by the President of ARZA

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