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The Seattle Reconstructionist congregation Kadima "welcomes members from all backgrounds, including multicultural, gay, and lesbian households," according to its Web site, and now it's welcoming Ariel Sharon's adoption of its name.
"[We] wish Prime Minister Sharon the very best with his new party name," Kadima Executive Director Susan Davis told The Jerusalem Post via email. "It is a huge responsibility to use a name as progressive as Kadima," which means "forward" in Hebrew.
"It requires constant vigilance and care in making decisions and carrying out actions that accurately reflect the meaning of the word," she wrote.
The organization was founded in 1978 "as a progressive Jewish political, cultural and social organization" which "integrates celebration, study and social action," according to the information it has posted on its site, www.kadima.org. It has commissioned the "first-ever" Sefer Torah to be scribed by a woman, runs a Jewish-Arab Middle East Peace Camp, and in September became an affiliate of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.
The endorsement of the US-based Kadima comes on the heels of two local expressions of displeasure at Sharon's choice of moniker.
The leadership of the Israeli town of Kadima - located in the Sharon region - was outraged that the prime minister usurped the name for his party.
And in Beersheba, Kadima is a local left-wing party whose top candidate is deputy mayor. The party has appealed to the Justice Ministry's party registrar to force Sharon to change the name.
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