New York, NY - As the war initiated by Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel persists, Women of Reform Judaism will lead a joint mission to Israel entitled, “We Will Not Be Silent,” with Women’s Rabbinic Network for Reform Jewish leaders. Participants will bear witness to the aftermath of October 7 and hear firsthand accounts of violence against women.
Focused on feminist voices, the delegation will hear from leadership of civil society organizers and Knesset representatives who will highlight the inclusion of women in national security decision-making processes, the process of collecting evidence on crimes against women and children from October 7, and efforts to bring home the several hostages still in captivity.
“Since the beginning of the war, both Women of Reform Judaism and the Women’s Rabbinic Network have spoken out against the gender-based violence that all too often becomes a tactic of armed conflict,” said WRJ Executive Director Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch. “This mission will bring together North American leaders to demonstrate our steadfast support in the aftermath of Hamas’s attack and its continued threats. It has never been a more crucial time to make our voices heard. We will not be silent.”
“We have stood in solidarity across North America to demonstrate our outrage from the attacks and lack of international remorse,” echoed WRJ President Sara Charney. “This trip allows us to show up in person and bring back what we’ve learned to our home communities.”
The seven-day mission will start in Jerusalem and then travel to the Israel-Gaza border area and Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Participants will then spend Shabbat in Tel Aviv with the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) community to end the trip.
“Now more than ever, it is important to see the faces of our North American partners, to know that they support us during this fragile time in Israeli history,” said Anna Kislanski, CEO of IMPJ. “This mission strengthens our relationship so that we can continue to make meaningful strides in rebuilding Israeli society, fighting for gender equality, and ensuring a strong relationship between our sisters and partners here in Israel and around the world.”
The trip, led by Rabbi Hirsch, will include 14 members of WRJ and WRN, representing 13 cities and communities in North America.
“It is so meaningful to visit Israel to lift up the voices left out of the narrative of war. As our Jewish community continues to navigate the depths of the trauma endured on October 7 and beyond, our joint delegation representing the Reform Movement will listen, learn, and act,” said Rabbi Lisa Delson, WRN Social Action and Advocacy Vice President and mission participant.
Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) is a network of Jewish women working together to empower women and communities worldwide through the bonds of sisterhood, spirituality, and social justice. WRJ, founded in 1913, is the women’s affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America. For more information about WRJ, please visit our website at www.wrj.org.