MONTREAL: Human Rights Shabbat on December 5th

No Comments 25 November 2014

On December 5th 2014, along with over 100 communities worldwide, B’nai Or Montreal Community Shul, Mile End Chavurah and Canadian Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights will host a human rights Kabbalat Shabbat in Montreal. We hope you will join them in this expression of the profound connection between Jewish values and human rights.


Human Rights Shabbat

Co-hosted by B’nai Or Montreal Community Shul, Mile End Chavurah & Canadian Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights

Friday, December 5 at 7pm

Kellert Hall, Snowdon YM-YWHA, 5400 Westbury Ave

Admission free, but donations welcome.

Additional information:,,, or 514-489-5651.


Human Rights Shabbat is a moment of celebration, a yom tov for human rights. Over 100 communities around the world will come together on this Shabbat to recognize the connection between Jewish values and human rights, and pledge to manifest the value of k’vod ha-briot – human dignity – in our world. Canadian Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights, B’nai Or Montreal and Mile End Chavurah are pleased to be co-hosting this Kabbalat Shabbat that marks the connection between Jewish values and human rights challenges of our day.

Canadian Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights in Montreal, through programs including films, guest speakers, music and, in alternating years, an Environmental Pot Luck Tu B’Shvat Seder and a Human Rights Passover Seder, supports the goals and the work of RHR.

BnaiOrMontrealAbout B’nai Or Montreal Community Shul: At B’nai Or you are welcome whether or not you have another synagogue affiliation, religious training, or experience in Judaism. We are committed to egalitarianism and the inclusion of GLBTQ individuals, interfaith families, people who are exploring Judaism, and people with special needs in all areas of synagogue life. Our services are deeply sweet and warm, informal and musical, welcoming, user-friendly and very accessible. We celebrate a Jewish path that is spiritual and beyond denomination, imaginatively combining tradition with innovation and renewal. We respect, honour, and encourage diversity of Jewish expression in our congregational life and activities. We welcome you without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, or age. Let the spirit of being in a vibrant, friendly spiritual community that feels like home warm and open your heart.
After the service: We invite you to join us after the service for a scrumptious Oneg Shabbat (“Shabbat delight”).

About Mile End Chavurah (MECh): MECh was created in the summer of 2009 by a small group of Mile End neighbours looking for community and for a space to explore our Jewishness. Many of us felt estranged from mainstream Jewish institutions and yet all felt a longing to connect with other Jews and with Judaism. We are a diverse community of Jews and non-Jews committed to creating spaces for Jewish study, learning, prayer, celebration and acts of social justice. We are non-denominational, but inspired by the ideals of the Chavurah movement, progressive Judaism and Jewish Renewal. We lead and teach each other; we honour both tradition and innovation; we are committed to egalitarianism and inclusivity. Our vision is to create a sustainable, progressive Jewish community in our own neighbourhood—one which will nurture us, and our children.

Canadian Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights in Montreal, through programs including films, guest speakers, music and, in alternating years, an Environmental Pot Luck Tu B’Shvat Seder and a Human Rights Passover Seder, supports the goals and the work of RHR.


Brief statement on the “Jewish State” bill and democracy

No Comments 24 November 2014

On Sunday, December 23rd, the cabinet passed a controversial bill known as the “Jewish state” bill. The bill now will be voted on by the Knesset.  Problematic for a number of reasons, the bill declares Israel as the home state for the Jewish people along and therefore raises many concerns regarding equality and equal rights for minorities. Before the vote, (note: the vote is apparently being delayed one week until Dec 3 2014), RHR offers a short statement: Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Sulam Yaacov (Jacob’s ladder) and the Temple Mount

No Comments 24 November 2014

In this week’s parasha, Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann shows us that the true meaning behind Jacob’s dream is a vision of peace. In the context of current tensions today in Israel, he appeals to us to shun the appropriation of ancient symbols and language in favor of seeking morality, respect and brotherhood among all peoples.  Continue Reading

General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: On Brothers and Separation

1 Comment 20 November 2014

In Parashat Toldot, Rabbi Shmuel Reiner questions the traditional explanation of the blessing that Jacob tricks his father, Isaac, into giving him, and examines the importance of saying “goodbye” between those who, in many ways, are closest to us. Continue Reading


RHR condemns the November 18th terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue

1 Comment 18 November 2014

“God, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exalt”
- Psalms 94:3

Rabbis for Human Rights expresses their deep shock at the attack on a synagogue today in Har Nof, Jerusalem. We share in the grief of the families of the dead and pray for the full recovery of the wounded.
Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

RHR statement concerning the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif

No Comments 17 November 2014

Tensions have been very high in recent weeks in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. Part of this is due to concerns over Israel changing the status quo of the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif, a site holy to both Jews and Muslims, which must be overseen with the utmost of sensitivity. Below, please find Rabbis for Human Rights statement regarding the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Press Releases

This Wednesday, Tell the government: Stop neglecting poverty

No Comments 16 November 2014

PRESS RELEASE| November 14th 2015

Please join us this Wednesday (November 19 2014) at the Knesset’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty as we demand the government stop ignoring poverty in Israel.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at the Knesset

In the coming weeks the government is expected to approve the final budget for the coming year. This budget, however,  ignores more than 1.755 million people living in poverty in Israel. For these people, they will continue to live without essential rights, including the right to shelter, educational stipends,  and the right to search for employment without impediments. In a preliminary examination of the draft budget, the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty concluded that despite slogans and statements from elected officials that say otherwise, it seems the government intends to continue to neglect both the people in Israel living in poverty, as well as the problem of poverty in general that plagues our state.

On Wednesday, November 19 2014, the Knesset will mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, led by Knesset members Ilan Gilon, Orly Levy-Abekasis and Chaim Katz, in conjunction with the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty. The day will focus on the fight against poverty through the implementation  of the recommendations of the Alaluf Committee to Fight Poverty  into the upcoming budget of 2015.

As part of the day the Knesset committees will discuss the selected recommendations from the Alaluf report alongside ways to implement them immediately in the current budget. The day of discussions will be held in the main chamber of the Knesset and will address the question of how to influence the Israeli government to implement the recommendations of the Committee in the 2015 budget.

Agenda (subject to change)

09:00 Knesset committee discussions

  •  The Knesset Interior and Environmental Protection – public housing – allocation of public housing tenants apartments Sde Dov
  • The Education, Culture and Sport – application of differential budgeting in the education system and application of the Alaluf report
  •  Labor, Welfare and Health – setting a maximum threshold for the number of families treated by family social worker, increasing standards and an equitable distribution (of what….?)
  • Economic Committee – Discussion bill public housing tenant rights (information transparency in housing) of the lobby for public housing
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child – Poverty among children in Israel following the UNICEF report

14:00 Conference Centers

  • Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog
  • Eli Alaluf, chairman of the Alaluf Committee to Fight Poverty
  • National Insurance CEO, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef

Registration required: Click here to register (limited spots available)

Facebook event listing here

Partner organizations in the community to combat poverty:

*Union of Social Workers*Anu*Prisoner Rights*Israeli Association for Ethiopian Jewry* Association for Civil Rights in Israel*Society for Patient Rights in Israel*Unit for Community Work-Bat Yam*The Israeli Center for the Promotion of Social Justice*Sikkuy*Internships for Social Change- Beersheva*Students for Social Work*Social Safety Network*Rabbis for Human Rights*Haifa Cooperative for Stopping the Cycle of Poverty*Shatil*Yes for the Elderly-Promoting Senior Rights*Activists from communities living in poverty

General, Occupied Territories

A Scene of Desecration: Rabbi Yehiel on Al Mughayir’s Burned Mosque

No Comments 14 November 2014

A mosque was badly arsoned, presumably by Jewish extremists, in the early hours of November 12 2014 in the village of Al Mughayir. About a month prior, another mosque, in a different Palestinian village in the Occupied Territories, was also burned. Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann of RHR visited the mosque in Al Mughayir and writes of his shock at the severity of the arson.  Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin

WATCH: The Flourishing North vs the Furious South- Israel’s Bedouin Policy

No Comments 13 November 2014

The Bedouin in Israel’s North live in flourishing villages, which were recognized by Israel in the 90′s. These citizens feel apart of Israel, and have had many accomplishments economically, educationally and socially.

Continue Reading

General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Reconciliation Must Come Eventually

No Comments 12 November 2014

 In Parshat Chayei Sarah, Rabbi Ehud Bandel reveals how our sages sought to remind us, again and again, of our obligation to be sensitive to “the other” – both to those who are voiceless, like Sarah and Hagar, as well as to our enemies. With this in mind, we praise Isaac for seeking reconciliation with his estranged brother Ismael despite decades of conflict, fear and hatred.

Will we be like our Patriarch Isaac and seek reconciliation to a seemingly endless conflict with our brothers? According to Rabbi Bandel, it is inevitable- so the real question is “when”? Continue Reading

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