Rabbi Gilad Kariv ‘03

President and CEO
Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism

Gilad Kariv

Israeli rabbinical alum Rabbi Gilad Kariv was elected the first Reform Rabbi in Israel’s Knesset (Parliament). His election represents a milestone for Israel’s Reform Movement.

“I see it as my duty to present the voice of progressive, liberal Israelis to Jews around the world…To be a legislator for the Jewish and democratic state is for me holy work, no less holy than being in the ‘Beit Haknesset (Synagogue),’” Rabbi Kariv says.

President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., shares, “Kariv is positioned to be the leading voice and ambassador of progressive religious values and pluralism. A proud, public proponent of Reform Judaism, he offers a message of freedom of religion and conscience and a rethinking of the relationship between religion and state in Israel. His election reflects the impact of the growing liberal Jewish cultural and religious communities and programs on Israeli society.”

Rabbi Kariv explains, “When the successors of Kahane and the most racist, ultra-chauvinist and ultra-nationalist forces make their way again into the Israeli Knesset, it is clear more than ever why we need also the voice of liberal, progressivism, egalitarian, and democratic Judaism.”

Rabbi Kariv is one of more than 115 Israeli Reform rabbis ordained at HUC-JIR who are impacting Israeli society in congregations, community centers, schools, and through public service. President Rehfeld continues, “We take pride in their many accomplishments in advancing the values of pluralism and egalitarianism in the Jewish State.”