23 June 2023
Synagogues are a central institution of Jewish life throughout the world and have been so for almost 2,000 years. In that time, they have been essential places for learning, prayer, community building, social activism, and life-long engagement, among many other activities. In our community alone, almost 100,000 people report being members of various synagogues or other Jewish worship communities.
A significant part of the vibrancy in our community comes from the great diversity of synagogues, each with their own practices, traditions, culture, and values. No two are the same, and this uniqueness enables many people to find a spiritual community where they belong. This, in turn, is a crucial element of what makes our overall Jewish community strong, vibrant, and connected to one another.
Today, we’re proud to be working in partnership with local synagogues to further this same ideal for Israel to help ensure that Israelis can practice their faith in ways that are meaningful to them.
As I’ve written in the past, American Jewry must continue to support Israel and its long-term security while simultaneously engaging in building a stronger, more vibrant, democratic state for all its citizens and a homeland for the global Jewish people. I encourage you to consider taking part in this important effort as one of the ways you can use your voice to strengthen Israeli society, as well as our connection to it and the global Jewish people.
Federation is matching all individual gifts up to $500 in support of religious pluralism in Israel, and to date, we’ve raised nearly $30,000 toward this effort. All gifts, including the match, will be divided amongst organizations in Israel working to further religious freedom and ensure access to options for religious practice across Israel. These organizations include Itim, Masorti, and Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, among others.
If you’re a synagogue member, you’ll have the opportunity to select or write in your synagogue affiliation, and we will work with your synagogue to ensure your donation is directed to the organization(s) pursuing this meaningful work. For all others, we will divide the total funds raised and the match across the organizations listed above.
To donate, please visit shalomdc.org/pluralism.
Together, our community can help ensure Israel continues to represent the true diversity and richness of the Jewish people. A strong, vibrant Israel creates a strong, vibrant Jewish community worldwide. Our collective investment in religious freedom across Israeli society is also an investment in the strength, growth, and perpetuity of the global Jewish people. I hope you’ll consider making a gift to this special campaign. Gifts to campaigns like these, in addition to contributions to Federation’s Annual Campaign, enable us to make an even bigger difference for our Jewish family and friends around the world.
Thank you to those who have already contributed. We are deeply grateful to you and to our synagogue partners for making this effort a reality.