Event Details

In These Times: Israel's Reform Movement and the Israel/Gaza War

Thursday, June 20 at 5:30 pm

Main Sanctuary

With Refreshments in the Main Sanctuary Foyer

Join Rabbis Jonathan Singer and Ryan Bauer in conversation with Yair Lootsteen, the Chairperson of The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). We'll hear how the IMPJ is responding to the ongoing crises in Israel, the ways their movement has been impacted by October 7 and the ensuing war in Gaza and explore Zionism's place within Progressive Judaism.

Yair Lootsteen is the Chairperson of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), The Reform movement's Israeli wing. He has been on the IMPJ Board since 2013 and currently serves on its Congregational Development Committee and the Reform Movement's Israel Religious Action Committee Steering Committee.

Born in London, England, Yair grew up in Toronto, Canada. He made aliyah in 1979 and has since resided in Jerusalem. 

A lawyer, Yair served in the IDF's Military Advocate General Corps for 23 years, completing his term of duty in 2007 with the rank of Colonel. During his military career, he held several challenging positions, the last being that of the Legal Advisor to the IDF in Judea and Samaria. Previous positions in the IDF included the Staff Judge Advocate for the General Staff Command and the Legal Advisor to the IDF in the Gaza Strip.

Since completing his regular IDF service, Yair has invested much of his time on issues relating to Jewish pluralism in Israel. From 2010 to 2013, he served as president of Kehilat Kol HaNeshama, Jerusalem's largest Reform synagogue. Yair also serves as an ex-officio on the Executive Board of the World Union of Progressive Judaism and is a member of the Israel team of ARZENU – the International Federation of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists. 

In the latter capacity, from 2012 to 2015, he served as Co-Chair of the World Zionist Organization's Standing Committee on Budget and Finance and, since late 2015, has been a Board member of the Keren Kayemet LeYisrael-Jewish National Fund. In May 2018, he was appointed Vice Chairperson of KKL-JNF, a position for which he was re-selected by ARZENU following the 2020 World Zionist Congress elections.


Record ID: 701Pd00000AtnNMIAZ