On May Way To Israel

On May Way To Israel

From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

On Saturday evening, I’ll be on my way to Israel. Every seven years, the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) holds its annual convention in Israel. Though COVID interrupted the pattern, it will be good to reset the clock and to begin again in Israel, starting in Jerusalem and concluding in Tel Aviv. With many stops in-between, time for us in Israel is much more than sight-seeing. It’s truly a deep dive into study, camaraderie, CCAR business, and a special focus on the issues facing Israel, internally and externally.

While I’m there, we’ll meet with officials, address social and economic issues, and learn more about their democracy that’s currently challenged under new leadership. With a keen eye on our Reform priorities, we’ll urge leaders in Israel to bear witness to enduring laws and lessons of the past that are still our brightest hopes for the future. The Land of Israel, a refuge and sovereign state for all its citizens, thrives when it adheres to Reform priorities as much as it does to traditional ones. Though Reform priorities are sometimes misunderstood, they are largely consistent with our own priorities for equality and equity, impartial judges and rulings, and compassion for those who still clamor for peace in what has been called “the most complicated neighborhood in the Middle East.”

Another essential portion of our time will be the business of the CCAR. During the installation of its new board and officers, Rabbi Erica Asch, of Maine, will become our new CCAR President, and I will become the President-Elect. It will be an honor to enter these new roles in Israel. They are roles that carry the weight of the full Conference of more than 2200 rabbis in America, Israel, and Europe. In two years, when I become President of the CCAR, it will be a great privilege to lead where others led and to offer my support to Rabbi Hara Person, CCAR’s Chief Executive, to unfold a vibrant vision for our future.

During my time in Israel, February 18th – 27th, Rabbi Scott and Cantor Feibush will be available to respond to your needs. I will be in touch from Israel, and will be eager to return home to share more about Israel’s affairs and the role of our Reform Movement in a strong future we share.

May this Shabbat be a time of rest and renewal. May the days ahead of us be filled with Shalom, peace and wholeness.


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