Tag archive for "Rabbi Arik Ascherman"

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

So too must we remember our promise: Passover thoughts 5774

No Comments 14 April 2014

As we prepare for the celebration of the Passover, the Jewish holiday marking the Israelites’ liberation from Egyptian slavery and the beginning of their cohesion as a “people,” Rabbi Arik Ascherman, senior rabbi and president of RHR, shares his Passover thoughts on the holiday, the horrors of housing demolitions,  and RHR’s upcoming High Court date that could end them for good.

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General, Justice in Israel-Prawer

Student Tour April 4th: The Negev Bedouin and Unrecognized Villages

2 Comments 16 March 2014

Please join Rabbis for Human Rights Friday April 4th as we travel to the Negev to tour unrecognized villages, meet with Bedouin villagers and leaders, and learn about the dangerous human rights implications of the Prawer Plan.  RSVP with our offices. Please see details below. Continue Reading

Documents, General, Justice in Israel-Prawer

Letter to Israeli Authorities regarding their entry into Al Araqib cemetery

3 Comments 11 March 2014

Yesterday, in an unprecedented event, the Israeli Authorities entered the cemetery of Al-Araqib. Although the village has been demolished 65 times, there has always been respect for the sanctity of the cemetery and the authorities have never before entered it.  In response, Rabbi Ascherman wrote a letter (below, followed by photos) to the appropriate authorities demanding an explanation, an apology and a promise that it will not happen again.  Continue Reading


Rabbi Ascherman in the USA: East Coast and Midwest Speaking Events

7 Comments 06 March 2014

Before attending the annual Central Congress of American Rabbis conference, president and senior rabbi of RHR, Arik Ascherman, will be in the USA this March, speaking to congregations and groups about Israel, human rights and the work of Rabbis for Human Rights.  Below please find the dates and locations he will be speaking publicly. We hope to see you there! Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel-Prawer

I’m standing in Al-Araqib and I know that something is wrong: Reflections on the Bedouin

No Comments 26 February 2014

Lev Gray, a volunteer with RHR,  joined Rabbi Arik Ascherman and a group of rabbis on a study-tour to learn about the Negev Bedouin. 

By Lev Gray

On an overcast Sunday, I drove with 3 rabbis down to the Negev. In the warmth of the car I drifted in and out of sleep. I would soon be woken up by the black coffee of hospitality and bitter tastes less literal. Continue Reading


“My Zionism says that I can’t demand for myself what I don’t demand for others.”

1 Comment 18 February 2014

Recently, Rabbis for Human Rights mentioned that it is a “Zionist organization.” Many of our readers became confused or even upset by this statement, finding contradiction between Zionism and a human rights mandate. Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president and senior rabbi of RHR, responds by explaining what it means to him to be a Zionist. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel

STUDENTS: Join RHR for an Economic Justice Study Tour Feb 28th

1 Comment 14 February 2014

STUDENTS: Please join us on February 28th for an Economic Justice Study Tour to our Rights Center in Hadera. You will learn firsthand about the soaring poverty rates in Israel in both the Jewish and Arab sectors, and meet with folks from both communities to discuss the issues that concern them. Details below. RSVP with our offices ASAP Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

South Hebron Hills Study Tour

4 Comments 13 January 2014

On Friday, January 3rd 2014, Rabbi Ascherman led a group of rabbinical, cantorial and education students  on study-tour to the South Hebron Hills, the major geographical focus of RHR’s legal department.  Students learned about the fascinating culture of the cave-dwelling Palestinians there, and visited Bir El ‘Id, a village abandoned for ten years due to settler intimidation until RHR’s legal team returned them to their homes in 2009, Palestinian Susya, where RHR’s legal department continues to fight on behalf of its residents to keep their homes and lands, as well as Ad Dirat. The group was joined by one of RHR’s attorney’s, Miya Keren.  Continue Reading


Rabbi Ascherman in the USA

No Comments 29 November 2013

President and Senior Rabbi of RHR, Arik Ascherman, will be in North America this December, speaking to congregations and groups about Israel, human rights and the work of Rabbis for Human Rights. Below please find the dates and locations he will be speaking publicly. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 8: Congregation Bnai Shalom, 74 Eckley Ln, Walnut Creek, California. 7:30pm. Talk: ”The Israel I Cherish: Israel, Human Rights, and Judaism.”

Monday, December 9: Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley, California. 7:30-9:00pm. Talk: “The Israel I Cherish: Israel, Human Rights, and Judaism.” Event co-sponsored by the Israel Committee of Congregation Beth El, Congregation Netivot Shalom, Kehillah Community Synagogue, Temple Isaiah and Temple Sinai.

Saturday, December 14: Temple Beth Israel, 1175 East 29th Ave. and J-Street, Eugene, Oregon. 7pm.

Friday, December 20: Fairmount Temple, 23737 Fairmount Blvd. Beachwood, Ohio. 6:15pm. Oneg Shabbat.  Talk “A Rabbinic View of Human Rights in Israel.”

Sunday, December 22: Bethesda Jewish Congregation, 6601 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda, Maryland. 2-4pm.


Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman graduated from Harvard University in 1981 and from 1981-1983 worked for Interns For Peace, a community work program in which Israeli Jews and Arabs as well as Jews from around the world, worked together to bring Israeli Jews and Arabs together in positive interaction. For most of this time Rabbi Ascherman lived in the Israeli Arab village of Tamra. He studied in the Schwartz Program for community center directors at Hebrew University while a rabbinical student, and was ordained by HUC-JIR in New York in 1989. At HUC-JIR he helped set up a student-faculty soup kitchen, and worked on issues of advocacy for the homeless. Rabbi Ascherman served as the director of Hillel at U.C. Davis from 1989-1991, as the rabbi of Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond, CA from 1991-1994, Director of Congregation Mevakshei Derekh in Jerusalem from 1994-1997 and rabbi of Kibbutz Yahel from 1997-2000. While in Richmond, Rabbi Ascherman set up a homeless shelter rotating between Beth Hillel and local churches. He and his wife worked with nascent congregations as the Former Soviet Union was breaking up.

Beginning in 1995 Rabbi Ascherman served as co-director of Rabbis For Human Rights, serving as executive director from 1998-2010. He currently is President and Senior Rabbi. Rabbi Ascherman is internationally recognized as leading advocate for human rights and social justice as religious, Jewish and Zionist obligagion, and has several times stood trial for acts of civil disobedience. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his human rights work, as has Rabbis For Human Rights. He is frequently quoted in the press, is a sought after lecturer, and has contributed chapters to several books. Rabbi Ascherman is married to Dr. Einat Ramon. They have two children.


Spread the Light this Hanukkah

No Comments 29 November 2013


Hanukkah 2013/5774


Dear Friends and Supporters,  
Do you remember December 2nd, 1988, when a group of rabbis, including David Forman z”l and Rabbi Ben Hollander z”l, lit a candle, shining in the darkness of the First Intifada and rabbinic indifference? That candle marked the beginning of Rabbis for Human Rights, and the work – ours and yours – of championing human rights within the Jewish tradition. 

25 years later, we ask you to remember how the creation of RHR lit a path for all of us. We ask you to remember all the work and victories, big and small, we have made.   We ask you to remember that there is still much work to be done. We ask you to continue to support Rabbis for Human Rights. 

 We have always tried to do what we believed to be just and right, and necessary to further our Jewish vision of human rights, even if we were not exactly sure if we had enough resources. You have always come through for us. Together, we beat the odds time after time. 

With your help, we are busy working on 181 open legal cases, helping hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank access their lands. We have mobilized over 770 rabbis (and still counting) from around the world against the Begin/Prawer Plan, designed to uproot Israeli Bedouins from their homes. We are helping some 200 Jews and Arabs in Hadera and Wadi Ara to achieve their socioeconomic rights. With your help, we are raising awareness about human rights among 600 young people in 13 pre-army academies and in 2 institutions of higher education. And just recently, several hundred volunteers joined Palestinian farmers in dozens of villages to harvest their olives, despite the high level of violence this year. 

With your help, we can continue this holy work. 

  • $1,080 will help RHR defeat the Prawer Plan, and prevent the dispossession of up to 40,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel from their homes.
  • $540 will enable RHR to teach Israeli university and pre-military academy students about human rights.
  • $360 will help our legal team assist Palestinians in the OccupiedTerritories in gaining access to their lands and water resources.
  • $180 will assist RHR staff and volunteers in accompanying Palestinian farmers to their lands during the agricultural seasons, and help us monitor and document violence against farmers and damage to property.
  • $108 will go towards our work assisting Israelis whose socioeconomic rights have been denied to them.
  • What ever amount you choose to give, your support allows us to work here on the ground, to galvanize the Jewish community worldwide and lighting the way towards a Israel living up to our highest Jewish values.  

      Wishing You Much Hanukkah Light,


P.S. If you haven’t received an email from us recently, we probably don’t have your valid email address. Please send it to info@rhr.israel.net.

Image: Creative Commons, 8th Night of Hanukkah in Mea Shearim, Andrew Ratto

How to give

Online donations: We are pleased to accept online donations in U.S. dollars, Euros, pound sterling, and Israeli shekels, made possible through our partnership with Israel Gives, an Israeli non-profit organization committed to furthering Israeli philanthropy. Israel Gives has partnered with both American Support for Israel, Inc., an American 501(c)(3) public charity, and with UK Toremet Ltd., (UK Registered Charity No. 1140972) so that donations from theU.S. and U.K. are tax deductible.

Unfortunately, we still are not able to accept tax deductible donations from Canadian donors.   

To make an online donation: go to https://israelgives.org/custom/rhr/cart

By check:

For Donors in the U.S.:We accept U.S. tax-deductible donations by check through American Support for Israel, a 501(c)(3) public charity that encourages philanthropy to Israel. Please make the donation out to “American Support forIsrael” and write “Rabbis for Human Rights, ID # 580151967”in the “For” column of the check. Please also attach a note indicating that your donation is intended for Rabbis for Human Rights.

We also accept U.S. tax-deductible donations by check through the New Israel Fund. Checks (minimum $100), made out to the New Israel Fund, and marked as “donor advised to Rabbis for Human Rights” in the memo line, may be sent to:

New Israel Fund / 2100 M Street NWSuite 619 /Washington DC 20037

Donors in the U.K.:  We also accept donations from the UK and Europe via UK Toremet Ltd. Please make checks payable to UK Toremet Ltd. and include a note with the check stating that the donation is for Rabbis for Human Rights.   Checks may be sent to:

UK Toremet Ltd., Shenkers LLP, 4th Floor, Sutherland House, 70/78 West Hendon Broadway
London NW9 7BT, UK

 We accept donations by check through the New Israel Fund. Donations from theUK are tax deductible. Checks (minimum $100), made out to the New Israel Fund, and marked as “donor advised to Rabbis for Human Rights” in the memo line, may be sent to:

New Israel Fund UK, 25-26 Enford Street, London, W1H 1DW, UK

Direct deposits in any currency: Bank HaPoalim / Branch 782/ 38 AzaSt. Jerusalem, 92384, Israel / Account No. 153380, Swift no.: poalilita / IBAN: IL 14-0127-8200-0000-0153-380 

If you have made a direct deposit, please let us know by contacting Adena Ben Reuven, Grants Director at adena@rhr.israel.net   +972-2-648 2757

 Please note: Since January 15, 2013, donations for RHR can no longer be made via Rabbis for Human Rights – North American (now T’ruah). If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about your donation, please contact Ela Greenberg, Development Director at ela@rhr.israel.net   +972-2-648 2757

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