The United Church angers Canadian rabbis with its new proposed Mideast policy

(Photo by Robert Nathan Garlington/Pixabay)

Six organizations representing Canadians rabbis across the country issued a strong statement condemning the United Church of Canada for its new proposal to adopt a harder stance against Israel.

The 23-page document, which took two years to draft, supports teaching about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and labels Israel and Palestine with the same settler-colonial framework applied to Indigenous Canadians and early British settlers. Plus, the church wants to not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

While this isn’t the first time the United Church has upset Canadian Jewish leaders, it still caused outrage in the community. The mainstream Jewish organizations left it to rabbis to speak out this time, ahead of a vote in July that would see whether the church adopts the proposed policy.

To discuss, The CJN Daily podcast is joined by two rabbis—Reuven Poupko of Montreal and Baruch Frydman-Kohl of Toronto, who spearheaded the response letter—about why they were so upset about this proposal, and whether they think their reaction will do any good in this long-fractured relationship.

What we talked about:

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network; find more great Jewish podcasts at