Israel equality advocate speaking here

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Rabbi Uri Regev, long an activist for civil rights and religious pluralism in Israel, says the upcoming elections bring a critical question to the forefront: whether Israel can “truly be Jewish and democratic.”

Rabbi Uri Regev

Regev, former executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center and president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, is now president and CEO of Hiddush, an Israeli group advocating for religious freedom and equality in the Jewish state. He is addressing those issues as well as concerns about the Israeli elections in a series of Bay Area appearances starting this week.

Regev, who is also a lawyer, said a partnership is needed more than ever between diaspora Jews and Israelis. But now, it’s “not over sending weapons to the struggling Zionist settlements who are fighting the Arab nations,” he said during an interview from Israel. Instead, it’s about civil rights.

“If we don’t work together as partners to fully realize Israel’s promise in our Declaration of Independence for religious freedom and equality for all, what we will be waking up to realize tomorrow is that more than half of the children growing up in the American Jewish community will be told by the State of Israel ‘You ain’t Jewish,’ or ‘You ain’t Jewish enough,’ and ‘If you push, you can make aliyah, but forget about having equal rights in Israel, because if you fall in love and want to marry in Israel, that’s just not going to happen.’” — alix wall


Schedule of events

Rabbi Uri Regev will speak about Israel, democracy and religious pluralism across the Bay Area. All talks are free. For more information, contact the individual venue.

Friday, Feb. 27: Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 6:15 p.m. worship, 7:30 p.m. dinner and talk. RSVP for dinner to (415) 479-3441.

Saturday, Feb. 28: Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road, Davis. 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 1: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. 9:30 a.m.; and Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville. 5 p.m.

Monday, March 2: Jewish Federation of the East Bay, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 3: Congregation Beth Israel Judea and Or Shalom Jewish Community, 625 Brotherhood Way, S.F. Co-sponsored by Jewish Community Relations Council and Brandeis Hillel Day School. 7 p.m.

Friday, March 6: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. 6:30 p.m. worship and oneg, 7:45 p.m. talk.

Saturday, March 7: Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 9 a.m.

Sunday, March 8: Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. 10 a.m.