Reform Judaism hosts Israeli envoy Tzipi Hotovely after criticism from top rabbi

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Reform Judaism hosts Israeli envoy Tzipi Hotovely after criticism from top rabbi

Israeli ambassador meets progressive leaders a week after former senior rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner called on her to 'be ambassadorial and don’t incite hatred'

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Tzipi Hotovely
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Tzipi Hotovely

Reform Judaism quietly hosted an event for new Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely on Wednesday, just days after the movement’s former senior rabbi told her to “be ambassadorial and don’t incite hatred”.

The event, confirmed by two sources, was advertised only to significant Reform donors and supporters, and was on the heels of stinging criticism from Laura Janner-Klausner, who until October was the senior Reform rabbi in the UK.

One source alerted to the event alluded to Hotovely’s opposition to a Palestinian state, saying: “This event would obviously be controversial under any circumstances but particularly after Rabbi Laura’s criticism, and Hotovely’s subsequent interview, in which she continued to defend settlements and make other inflammatory remarks.”

Janner-Klausner spoke out last week after Hotovely, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, posted a video in her role as ambassador in which she called expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 “an Arab lie”.

The rabbi said the envoy’s views could do “off-the-scale” damage to the tenuous current state of engagement with Israel of young British Jews.

Janner-Klausner has led the call for a more nuanced approach to Israel education in the UK vis-a-vis the Palestinians, pointing to how young British Jews are increasingly becoming disenfranchised by what they see as Israel’s unfair and illegal occupation. How might Hotovely’s view impact this already fragile state of affairs?

“It is a terrible thing for young people’s relationship to the State of Israel, because if she is seen as the representative here, then it represents an Israel that young people will reject, and that would be a tragedy both for British Jewry and for Zionism,” Janner-Klausner said.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: