In 2022, we were inspired by the words from our daily liturgy — “With goodness, the Holy One renews creation every day” — to refresh our mission, vision, and values.
Our commitment to Shared Humanity, seeing every human being as b’tzelem Elohim (created in the image of God) and treating them with respect, dignity, and kindness, has guided our work with all our communities: congregations, camps and other immersive experiences, youth movements, and more. Striving to create a movement where people of all backgrounds, identities, generations, and lived experiences can experience a sense of Belonging, we offered foundational Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (REDI) trainings and resources for our staff and communities and provided additional REDI content for our youth programs.
The pursuit of Justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world) continued to be a central focus in 2022. A phrase from Deuteronomy 16:20, “tzedek, tzedek, tirdof” (justice, justice, you shall pursue), served as our watchwords. Under the leadership of our Religious Action Center, thousands of Reform Jews joined together to participate in our Every Voice, Every Vote campaign. The campaign connected volunteers with voters in marginalized communities to strengthen democracy in the United States. Through the Roadmap to Reconciliation program, the Reform Jewish Community of Canada engaged seven of their communities in Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta, as well as Camp George, in the powerful work of furthering Jewish-Indigenous relationships and education.
Learning is a fundamental part of the Jewish experience; we are proud to be a Movement that both honors Torah and wrestles with Jewish traditions and beliefs. We engaged with tens of thousands of young people in 2022, providing immersive Jewish experiences including summer camps, NFTY, Israel, and social justice programs. All these programs provide opportunities for the next generation to find their own meaning and purpose in Jewish values and traditions. We supported families and small congregations by partnering with Shalom LinkED, providing Jewish education to children who may not have access to in-person instruction. Our partnership gave these students a quality online learning experience rooted in a values-based curriculum.
In 2022, we continued to Evolve as we began work to restore the sacred trust that was broken by acts of harassment and assault in our spaces that went unaddressed for too long. We joined together to begin the process of t’shuvah (repair) and work toward restorative justice, listening to the voices of those impacted by these events. We will continue to address both individual and institutional harm as we hold ourselves accountable.
The Talmud teaches, “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh ba’zeh,” all of Israel and the Jewish people are responsible, one for the other. In 2022, we sent nearly 700 teens to Israel through NFTY and Heller High, strengthening the bond between our youth and the State of Israel. We launched the four HaTikvah Questions (4HQ) curriculum to help Jewish people with differing views on Israel connect with each other. We responded to the persistent rise of antisemitism in the United States by continuing to promote the toolkit we developed with the ADL. This toolkit educates our communities about preventing, preparing for, and responding to antisemitic incidents. Throughout the year, especially during November’s Israeli elections, we championed a democratic and pluralistic State of Israel.
You, our congregations, donors, partners, activists, and allies, have shown that when we join together, we can change the world. Your unflagging support empowers us as we pursue a world of peace and wholeness (shalom), justice and equity (tzedek), and belonging and joy (shayachut and simcha) as we propel our Movement into its 150th year and beyond.