Next week, Temple Sholom and UnXeptable Vancouver, with Israeli protest group Safeguarding our Shared Home and US-based registered charity America-Israel Democracy Coalition, will host a discussion about how the Jewish community in Vancouver can support the pro-democracy protest efforts in Israel.
The event, scheduled to take place at Temple Sholom on Sept. 26, beginning at 7 p.m., will feature a discussion with Michal Muszkat-Barkan, PhD, of Safeguarding Our Shared Home, and Ora Peled Nakash of the America-Israel Democracy Coalition. Attendees will hear their perspectives and engage in a dialogue about the efforts by the Israeli democracy movement to build a strong civil society upholding Israel’s Declaration of Independence and its commitments to Jewish history, Jewish values, democracy, equality and justice.
Israel’s pro-democracy movement brings together nearly 200 different organizations. These organizations span various facets of Israeli society, including religious and secular groups, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights advocates, military veterans, medical professionals, anti-occupation activists, and many community-specific groups.
“The pro-democracy movement isn’t about politics, it is about the soul of the country,” said Jonathan Barsade, president of the America-Israel Democracy Coalition. “In modern history, the soul of Israel has been a critical element for the well-being of the Jewish community worldwide. That is why it is so important for the Israeli movement to engage and include the international Jewish community in this momentous event.”
In partnership with JSpaceCanada, Arza Canada, Ameinu Canada and the New Israel Fund of Canada, the gathering at Temple Sholom mirrors in many ways the inclusivity of Israel’s pro-democracy movement, by bringing together the leading organizations of progressive Jewry in Canada to engage in dialogue at a critical time in the history of the Israel-Canada relationship. It will be the first opportunity in Canada for Canadian Jews to meet with Israeli protest leaders live and in-person.
“We are honoured to host this event at Temple Sholom, which provides a platform for open dialogue and the exchange of ideas,” said Rabbi Dan Moskovitz of Temple Sholom. “By bringing together these influential Israeli protest leaders and showcasing the multifaceted nature of Israel’s pro-democracy movement, we aim to promote understanding and empathy while answering their call for solidarity from diaspora Jews.”
Daphna Kedem, lead organizer of UnXeptable Vancouver, added, “as an Israeli expat and proud member of the Vancouver Jewish community, I know how much pain both these communities feel about the current political climate in Israel. It is my hope that, through listening to those on the ground most affected by the potential regime change in Israel, we can work together – diaspora and Israeli Jews – to keep Israel Jewish and democratic, as stated in its Declaration of Independence.”
The Sept. 26 event is open to the public, and all interested individuals are encouraged to attend. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be provided following the discussion. All those wishing to attend should RSVP at bit.ly/SaveIsraeliDemocracy.
– Courtesy Maytal Kowalski, Press Pause Collective