Netanya Mayor Miriam Feierberg-Ikar 311.
(photo credit: Netanya City Hall)
Masorti (Conservative) worshipers exiting their synagogue in Netanya on Friday
night were stoned – just a few days after a Reform synagogue in Ra’anana was
vandalized by persons unknown.
Members of the Beit Yisrael congregation
were met by youths who threw rocks at them at the end of the Shabbat service.
According to eyewitnesses, the youths – who appeared to be religious – attempted
to enter the building, but were deterred by the security cameras that were
installed on the site, following two previous attacks.
Reform Jewish synagogue vandalized in Ra'anana for 3rd time
The youths then
camped out behind a van parked across the street, and when the people exited the
synagogue, pelted them with stones and fled the scene by foot.
the worshipers were wounded, and no damage befell the building. A complaint was
filed with the police, who will be securing the synagogue soon.
Sunday, Netanya Mayor Miriam Feierberg-Ikar strongly condemned violence against
“We believe that each person should be able to live
according to their belief, and it’s these people’s right to act on their faith
and outlook,” Feierberg-Ikar said.
Yizhar Hess, executive director and
CEO of the Masorti Movement in Israel, said, “The vile wave of violence against
non-Orthodox synagogues in Israel should be a warning signal to anyone who cares
about democracy in Israel.
“The Masorti Movement has established eight
new communities in Israel over the past two years,” he continued. “As the
non-Orthodox communities continue to grow, the ugly face of Jewish
fundamentalism in Israel is revealed. Some people just can’t deal with the fact
that there is a different Judaism. These people are hateful Jews who know
nothing about Rabbi Akiva’s principle of loving your neighbor as you love
Meanwhile, Ra’anana Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, former Shas
cabinet minister, added his name on Sunday to a letter of 14 Orthodox Ra’anana
rabbis and public figures condemning the attack against his city’s Reform
synagogue on Wednesday night – when unidentified assailants smashed six of the
building’s windows and spray-painted “It has begun” on the wall.
Tamar Kolberg, head of the Ra’anana congregation, Kehilat Raanan, noted the
“serious problem of negative messages that trickle down from high up to low, and
create a certain atmosphere – as if the speakers are trying to see how far they
can push the limit of their rhetoric.”
Kolberg may have been alluding to
Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi of Shas, who recently declared that
legislation should determine that there are no streams in Judaism.
letter stressed that the Torah is opposed to any acts of violence and harming
others, and called on public leaders to eradicate the violence, and promote
Rabbi Seth Farber, head of the Orthodox Netivot community,
initiated the letter, which was read at a ceremony held at Kehilat Raanan on
“Unfortunately, we only learn to recognize the ties that
bind us at times of crisis,” he said on Sunday. “An attack on any religious
institution is an attack on the Jewish people as a whole.
“It wasn’t easy
to reach consensus within the Orthodox community regarding the reform
synagogue,” Faber added, calling the outcome in the form of the letter “a real
breakthrough for the Israeli Jewish community.”
“As we celebrate our
national redemption, it is encouraging to know that our community can sometimes
overcome its inhibitions and support those under attack,” he said.