Kaddish for Gaza participant won’t lead Israel tour

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Kaddish for Gaza participant won’t lead Israel tour

No longer 'in the best interests of the participants' for youth leader who mourned for Hamas dead to head summer programme

Young London Jews say Kaddish for Gaza in Parliament Square.  Credit: Israel Advocacy Movement video on Youtube
Young London Jews say Kaddish for Gaza in Parliament Square. Credit: Israel Advocacy Movement video on Youtube

A youth leader for the Reform movement who who took part in the controversial ‘Kaddish for Gaza’, will no longer lead Israel tour this summer.

It was confirmed this week by the Movement for Reform Judaism, that Nina Morris-Evans will not take tour as a madricha (leader) for its youth wing, RSY-Netzer, as it’s “in the best interests of the participants”.

Morris-Evans was one of around 50 mainly young participants who provoked widespread communal anger by taking part in the public show of mourning for those killed on 14 May in Gaza border clashes. However, shortly before the kaddish spectacle, it became apparent that 50 of the 62 dead were members of Hamas.

In joint statement, RSY-Netzer, Reform Judaism and UJIA, which oversees Israel tours from 13 movements across the religious and ideological spectrum, said: “Over the course of extensive dialogue with an Israel tour leader, unfortunately it has become clear to RSY-Netzer, Reform Judaism and UJIA, that we cannot arrive at a position of certainty that leading tour is in the best interests of the participants.

“As it is a personnel issue, all three organisations have a duty of care and we cannot therefore discuss the details of this process any further.”

Nina Morris-Evans has been asked for comment.

In an article for Jewish News at the time, the Reform youth leader condemned the use of live ammunition, and said she didn’t accept that the IDF was acting in self-defence and insisted they were not condoning terror by “jewishly mourning” the victims.

Nina Morris-Evans

But she provoked further anger by saying: “Who these people were – or which group they are affiliated to – is an insignificant issue compared to the reality of their murder.”

She then apologised for the use of that last word, murder.

Morris-Evans received a torrent of abuse over her article – leading Rabbi Janner-Klausner to warn that the inability to debate Israel without abuse was putting the community on the path of “self-destruction”.

She said: “I am concerned that when one Jew wishes another dead, we are over the boundaries of decency and we are now into violent, harassing, bullying behaviour that we, as a community, have to come back from, because it’s a path to self-destruction.”

She said young Jews were “disengaging, revolted by what’s happening, they don’t want anything to do with it,” adding: “I see it happening. We are losing Jews from loving Judaism.”

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