Rabbi Uri Regev, an internationally renowned leader and advocate of religious liberty, will speak at The Temple on Friday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 17, at 9 a.m. during Torah study.
The Temple together with Temple Shalom invites all members of the community to the Friday evening service where Rabbi Regev will address the question: The wellbeing of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state may depend on us – are we meeting the challenge?
Rabbi Regev is an advocate for liberal movements of Judaism in his native country, Israel, and serves as the President and CEO of an educational and advocacy Israel-Diaspora partnership, “Freedom of Religion for Israel” and of its Israeli counterpart, “Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality.”
For seven years he served as president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. As head of the World Union, Rabbi Regev worked to strengthen modern, pluralistic Jewish life and democracy in the Jewish state and throughout the world. He also guided the organization in its tikkun olam (repairing the world) initiatives through social advocacy programs on both the local level and in partnership with prominent international non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations.
Prior to assuming leadership of the World Union in 2002, Rabbi Regev served as founding chair, and later as executive director and legal counsel, of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the advocacy group established by the Reform movement in Israel. In that capacity he led the IRAC’s legal team to historic victories in the Israeli Supreme Court in cases involving the “Who is a Jew?” issue, equitable funding for Reform and Conservative institutions and the fight for representation in the religious councils. He has also defended the rights of Sabbath-observant Jews and argued cases involving many other central issues of religious pluralism and human equality for all Israeli citizens.
Hiddush is committed to the advancement of “freedom of religion and conscience” and “full social and political equality without distinction on the basis of religion,” as promised in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Hiddush believes that fully realizing the promise of religious freedom will strengthen Israel both as a democracy and as a Jewish state, and will bolster Jewish Peoplehood and Israel/Diaspora relationships.