Field Reports, General, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

February 10: Tu B’Shevat tree planting with Palestinians and Bedouin!

No Comments 30 January 2017

PRESS RELEASE | JANUARY 6 2017

Rabbis for Human Rights invites you to celebrate Tu B’Shevat with us on February 10th at our annual tree planting with Palestinians in the occupied territories, and at Bedouin village Umm al Hiran! 

Tu BShevat flier EnglishJPEG2

Rabbis for Human Rights will hold tree planting events in order to celebrate the Jewish “New Year of the Trees” (Tu B’Shevat) in a West Bank Palestinian village where olive trees were uprooted, and in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev. The event in Umm Al Hiran will be held in a partnership with the Negev Recognition Forum and Oz Veshalom-Netivot Shalom, the Orthodox-Jewish religious peace organization; and Rabbinical students from T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, will participate in the event. Both events will take place on Friday February 10th.

Event in the West Bank

Every year, Rabbis for Human Rights donates olive trees to Palestinian villages where extremist settlers have previously uprooted or destroyed olive trees. Once again on Tu B’Shevat of 5777 [2017], we will join these farmers in the field, helping them put the trees in the ground.

Together with volunteers from both Israel and from Jewish communities across the world, we show a different face of Judaism and express our condemnation of the injustice perpetrated against Palestinian farmers and their agriculture. Returning trees to the ground acts as a powerful symbol of hope for peace between the two peoples!

Olive trees are integral to life in the West Bank. According to OCHA , around 183,000 hectares of land in occupied territories are cultivated for agriculture, nearly half of it for olive trees, mostly in the North and Northwest West Bank. “Between 80,000 and 100,000 families are said to rely on olives and olive oil for primary or secondary sources of income and the sector employs large numbers of unskilled laborers and approximately 15 per cent of working women.” Olive trees connect the Palestinian people to their land and their ancestors, provide income and substance for generations, and are an important symbol of Palestinian culture.

Transportation leaving from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem at 8am with an estimated return at 2pm. It will be available based on the number of participants who sign up. RSVP REQUIRED!!!!  Register here 

Facebook event here

The Tree Planting event in Umm El Hiran:

This coming Friday (10/2) 14th of Shvat, we will also conduct a symbolic tree planting in the yard of the mosque in Umm El Hiran at 10.00 a.m. We will be there to strengthen and express our solidarity to the community.

The unrecognized Bedouin village has recently been in the news because of the Israeli Government`s plan to expel its residents to the township of Hura; and also because of the tragic death there of a police officer and a resident of the village in the action to begin the destruction of the village.

The planting is in cooperation with “Negev Recognition Forum” and with the “Oz VeShalom” movement; and Rabbinical students from T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, will participate in the event.

Transportation & registration  From Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem on Friday, 8:00 a.m. It is possible to contact our office tel. 02-6482757 regarding possible transportation from other places and we will inform you if there will be transportation from Tel Aviv. To sign up, please call our office at 02 -6482757 or email at info@rhr.israel.net.

 

Not in the area or can’t make it? Donate a tree instead! Just $10 purchases an olive sapling. Go here to donate, and be sure to choose “olive tree campaign” in the pull down menu titled projects.

General, ICCI, العربية

Interreligious Encounters – the Key to Learning and to Attitudinal and Social Change

No Comments 25 January 2017

 للعربية اضغط هنا

Rabbi Noa Mazor, director of ICCI, the interreligious department of Rabbis for Human Rights, on the important of our “Abrahamic Team” panels that are bringing interreligious encounters and understanding to men, women and youth all over Israel. Continue Reading

General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Family, separation and unity

No Comments 04 January 2017

In Rabbi Noa Mazor’s commentary to Parashat VaYigash, she asks us to reflect on some very difficult questions.

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Education, General

A Hanukkah lesson plan: Shalom bayit and the Hasmonian daughter

No Comments 29 December 2016

Please feel free to use the following lesson plan, written by Rabbi Nava Hefetz, director of Rabbis for Human Rights’ education program, as you see fit.  Continue Reading

General

Hanukkah greeting: Increasing the Light and Burning Away the Darkness

No Comments 28 December 2016

Please take a moment to read this Hanukkah greeting by Rabbis for Human Rights chairperson, Rabbi Amy Klein.

Untitled design

By Rabbi Amy Klein

On the first night of Hanukkah, most of us follow the tradition of Hillel and light one candle and then increase the number each night until all eight are lit. However, according to the famous dispute related in the Talmud, in opposition to Hillel, the followers of Shammai lit eight candles on the first night and then gradually reduced them, ending with a single flame (Talmud Bavli, Tractate Shabbat 21b). One of the many commentaries on this text explains that a candle has two qualities:The light that reveals the world, and the flame that burns. In lighting eight candles the first day, Beit Shammai says: Let us burn away the darkness. By turning from evil, we will increase light in the world. Beit Hillel’s approach is a bit different, saying: Let us gradually diminish darkness through increasing the light of good deeds.

In our work at Rabbis for Human Rights, we honor both traditions. Out in the field, we increase the light, fighting one human rights violation at a time. From our education programs teaching youngIsraelis about human rights, to Palestinians in over forty West Bank villages who turn to us for agricultural assistance, and thousands of economically vulnerable Israelis who rely on us to help them receive the benefits they are entitled to, our work spreads the light, mitzvah by mitzvah. At the same time, we transform the sparks we gather in the field into knowledge and power to effect policy and legislative change. Over the last year, successes protecting Israel’s public housing tenants, fighting injustices in Israel’s state budget, and limiting the potential harm of urban renewal have burned away part of the darkness; in the coming months, we will continue to chip away at this task, moving forward our current projects, and starting new ones. (Stay tuned as we set our sights on Hebron…)

But we cannot do it alone — will you take a moment to support our important work dispelling the darkness?

Right now, we are tirelessly challenging a proposed law that might easily be one of the most unjust and insolent to ever be proposed by the Israeli government: The Formalization Law (Hok Ha-hasdara). This law will authorize the theft of private Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories by approving the construction of outposts and settlements built on it. The Palestinian landowners will be forced to accept compensation for their lost land in return for forfeiting any chance of returning to their homes and agricultural fields. We are fighting this law in the Knesset, in the courts, and in the streets. Simply put: This is not our Judaism, and it has no place in a democracy.

Festival symbols have a purpose. They stand for a value of which we need reminding. A. D. Gordon, the spiritual leader of Labor Zionism,wrote, “No person sees his flaws but for the light of his soul…And the greater the light of his soul, the more he can see his flaws.” At Hanukkah, we at RHR are reminded that we have the sensitive task of illuminating the flaws of our country and working to banish injustice. It is a difficult task, but if history has taught us anything, it is that the Jewish people are resilient and strong in the face of darkness.

Just as we need the light of Hanukkah each year to remind us of our power to banish dark, so too do we need your light to continue our important work defending the rights of Palestinians and Israelis. Please take a moment to make a generous end of the (secular) year donation in honor of Hanukkah.

Thank you for joining our effort and may you be  blessed with the warm light of hope and goodness.

AmyRabbi Amy Klein, Chair
Rabbis for Human Rights

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

Rabbinic case against the “Formalization Bill”

2 Comments 27 December 2016

A Rabbinic Statement Regarding “The Formalization Bill” (known also as the “Theft from non-Jews law”)

Continue Reading

General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly Parasha: Learning to live with the stranger

1 Comment 22 December 2016

How did our ancestors understand “otherness”? Were people defined by their blood or by their character? In her commentary to Parashat VaYeshev, Tamar Avraham shows us that theories about “purity of blood” are not only immoral and dangerous, but they are also not reflected in the Torah.

Continue Reading

General, ICCI

Not In God’s Name by Jonathan Sacks—A Review and a Reflection

No Comments 21 December 2016

There is no question that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the UK, is one of the most erudite writers on Jewish topics in the English language today. As a contemporary philosopher, his research and reading is widespread, as is his knowledge of classical Western and Jewish texts. In addition, he has been one of the leading orthodox rabbis in this generation who has devoted a good part of his rabbinate and his writings to interreligious relations, dialogue, and education, which is why his books are widely read among non-Jews as well as among Jews. Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish writes a book review on Rabbi Sacks new book. Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

Opens Friday in Haifa: Exhibit on the Khan al Ahkmar school of mud and tires

No Comments 18 December 2016

This Friday (December 23 2016) a new exhibit at the Munio Gitai Weinraub Architecture Museum in Haifa opens on the unique school at the Palestinian-Bedouin community of Khan al Ahkmar near  Mishor Adumim. The school, under the threat of demolition due to the failure of the Israeli authorities to provide appropriate planning options for the community, was ecologically built from tires and mud by the Italian organization Vento Di Terra, with the help of Rabbis for Human Rights. The school now successfully  provides education for one of the poorest and most marginalized communities in the West Bank.  Continue Reading

General

Outgoing Secretary General to United Nations admits to bias against Israel

No Comments 18 December 2016

Ynet News: Ban Ki-moon admits UN’s Israel bias

We at Rabbis for Human Rights are one of those who raised this concern to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. We informed him that bias against Israel in regards to human rights is not just unfair towards the nation itself, but also harms the legitimacy of true, warranted criticism against the government’s actions. Unreliable criticism is harmful towards both the reputation of the United Nations as well as the state of Israel, and ultimately harms the struggle for human rights in for the Palestinian people. Continue Reading

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