Update on Judicial Reform

I know we are all receiving inquiries – and have our own concerns – about the renewal of the judicial reform legislative activity in the Knesset, and the growing divisions in Israeli society around this important issue. I wanted to send a brief update, with more to come after Shabbat.


We should be rightfully proud of the efforts of our Federation system during the weeks and months leading up to the suspension of the legislative activity in March and the inception of negotiations under the auspices of President Herzog. We have continued to support President Herzog’s calls for negotiations even as the talks faltered and were ultimately suspended.

Next week promises to be yet another pivotal moment. Even as the relevant committee in the Knesset continues to prepare the first part of the judicial reform legislative package for a final vote in the Knesset, which could occur as early as the week after next, President Herzog will be traveling to Washington DC where he will meet with President Biden on Tuesday and address a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday. He will then travel to New York City where he will be hosted for a community reception by our own UJA-Federation of New York.

As we have consulted with Israeli experts and domestic partners, our view is that we should focus our attention this week on President Herzog’s visit. We have three goals: (1) to celebrate the continued strong bond between the United States and Israel as demonstrated by the powerful symbolism of President Herzog visiting the White House and addressing Congress, (2) to thank President Herzog for his courageous leadership in seeking to bridge the gulfs that have opened in Israeli society, and (3) to arm President Herzog with the strongest possible message of concern that he can deliver to the government when he returns to Israel.

Fortunately, many Federation leaders are participating in President Herzog’s visit thanks to invitations from their congressional representatives and from our colleagues at UJA-Federation. In addition to all our personal contacts with the President, we are working on other ways our Federation system can speak clearly to him while he is in the United States.

In the meantime, our Israel office will continue to update the relevant resource materials and send bulletins as needed. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with your thoughts, comments, questions or requests for assistance.

Thank you for all you do for our community. Together we will continue to make our meaningful contributions to the flourishing of our beloved State of Israel and the Jewish people around the world. 

Shabbat shalom umevorach,