Torateinu ARZA, an initiative of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, is underway. One Torah scroll - generously donated by Congregation Beth Israel of San Diego - is traveling the country on its way to Jerusalem for Women of the Wall’s Rosh Chodesh Tamuz celebration at the end of June.
The Torah scroll stopped at HUC-JIR's Cincinnati campus during the weekend of the Inauguration of Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D. It was used at Shabbat morning services on Saturday, June 7, as part of the Joint Meeting of the Boards of Governors and Overseers at HUC-JIR, the Union for Reform Judaism Board of Trustees, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis Board of Trustees.
As the scroll journeys, communities are gathering to discuss pressing civil issues currently unfolding in the State of Israel through the lens of Torah values. Torateinu ARZA aims to raise awareness, create public discussion forums, and give Reform Jews the opportunity to bring the vision of a pluralistic and democratic Israel to fruition by becoming a part of ARZA.
Once in Israel, the Torah scroll will be given to Sha'ar HaNegev, a Reform community in the Northern Negev desert which is reaching out to Israelis eager for an inclusive Judaism.