June 2017 Jerusalem Tamuz 5777 Resolution

Following the Israeli government's decision to freeze implementation of the Kotel plan to create a pluralistic prayer space and a new law on conversion that solidifies the Rabbinate's stranglehold on religion in Israel, JAFI issued an unprecedented resolution criticizing Israel's government, and calling for a halt to this action.

The Jewish Agency for Israel
The Board of Governors
June 2017 Jerusalem Tamuz 5777
Resolution

Whereas the Jewish Agency for Israel, representing world Jewry through its constituent members, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod, is gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the liberation of the Western Wall and the founding of the Zionist movement in Basel 120 years ago; and

Whereas the Jewish Agency for Israel throughout its history has been the organization responsible for bringing olim to the State of Israel and connecting Israel and world Jewry; and

Whereas the proposed conversion bill that would cement the Chief Rabbinate's monopoly on conversion has the devastating potential to permanently exclude hundreds of thousands of Israelis from being a part of the Jewish people; and

Whereas we deplore yesterday's decision by Government of Israel which contradicts the agreement reached with the Jewish Agency and other parties to establish the Kotel as a unifying symbol for Jews around the world, as stated: 'ONE WALL FOR ONE PEOPLE'; and

Whereas the Government of Israel's decisions have a deep potential to divide the Jewish people and to undermine the Zionist vision and dream of Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and Jabotinsky to establish Israel as a national home for the entire Jewish people; and

Whereas we declare that we cannot and must not allow this to happen and we are committed to mobilizing our constituencies for their continued support of the people and state of Israel; Therefore, be it resolved that

  • We call upon each Member of the Knesset and all elected public officials to take all necessary action to ensure that these dangerous and damaging steps are halted; and
  • We will continue to build a broad coalition of Israelis, together with partners from around the world, who care passionately about keeping our people united and who are committed to the unity of the Jewish people; and
  • We call upon the Government of Israel to understand the gravity of its steps and reverse its course of action accordingly.

Natan Sharansky
Chair of the Executive

Charles Horowitz Ratner
Chair of the Board

Michael Siegal
Chair Elect of the Board