Founded in 2009 by WRJ Board member Resa Davids, WRJ-Israel’s initial goal was to ensure there would be a women's track of workshops at the international World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) Convention in Jerusalem that year. At that time, 15 out of the 25 Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) congregations had formal women’s groups, and from those groups, 50 women attended the inaugural meeting. Later that year, at the WRJ 2009 Assembly in Toronto, Canada, each of these 15 Israeli women’s groups was given a gavel and a charter as an official WRJ affiliate.
“Some of our groups are already quite active, while some are still trying to establish themselves. It is very important to state that we are not trying to imitate WRJ Sisterhoods. We are culturally different. Our communities are not mirrors of North American Reform Congregations—we are building an Israeli Movement.”
—WRJ-Israel Founder and WRJ Board member Resa Davids, 2012
Today, WRJ-Israel has grown to include 27 WRJ-affiliated women's groups. Each of these groups has its own goals and runs its own programs in accordance with the WRJ-Israel Mission Statement. Although WRJ-Israel affiliates differ culturally and structurally from their North American counterparts, they have the support of WRJ in their journey to build an Israeli Movement that promotes the roles of Israeli women in Reform/Progressive Judaism. WRJ-Israel holds an annual national meeting and periodic programs in local communities.
To become involved in a local WRJ-Israel women’s group or find one while traveling abroad, please search the "Find a Sisterhood" database, view the contact list (below), or contact WRJ Director of Engagement Heather Lorgeree.
WRJ-Israel Mission Statement
WRJ-Israel, part of the global connection of WRJ, is a collaborative effort of dedicated individuals who are members of IMPJ congregations. We strongly encourage, empower, and support women to realize their potential as community leaders within Israeli society. Our guiding principle is always to be cognizant of women’s issues and perspectives. Our goals include:
• Enhancing Jewish knowledge and abilities
• Promoting Jewish values through action
• Strengthening congregational life
• Educating for pluralism
• Deepening relationships between Israel and the Diaspora
• Ensuring the growth of Progressive Judaism throughout the world