Skip To Content
Breaking News

Reform Congregation Wins Fight To Build Synagogue In Central Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Reform congregation has won a legal battle to build a synagogue building in the central Israeli city of Hod Hasharon.

Kehillat Yonatan was founded in 2001 as an independent Progressive congregation. It is named after the son of its spiritual leader, Rabbi Michael Boyden, who moved with his family to Israel from England in 1985. Israel Defense Forces paratrooper Yonatan Boyden was killed in 1993 in southern Lebanon.

The Lod District Court on Thursday ordered the municipality of Hod Hasharon, a wealthy city located several miles north of Tel Aviv, to halt delays on the project and to allow the synagogue to build on the parcel of land initially allocate to it in 2013 after repeated requests for a parcel of land on which to build the synagogue and education center.  The court also ordered the municipality to pay about $8,500 in legal fees to the synagogue.

The congregation was represented by the Israel Religious Action Center, the Israel advocacy arm of the Reform movement. It alleged that the project had been subjected to excessive red tape because it involved the Reform movement, according to Haaretz. It first submitted a request for land for a synagogue building 15 years ago.

Hundreds of area residents attend high holiday services at the synagogue and thousands attend lectures and other programs throughout the year, Haaretz reported.

“We provide a home for thousands of Jews who want to develop a modern Jewish lifestyle in a country crying out for religious pluralism and alternatives. Our educational campus, unlike any other in the area, attracts Israelis not only from Hod Hasharon but from all over the region. Through our creative approach we have been successful in connecting old and young, families and singles with their heritage,” the congregation says on its website. It says that it has raised $1 million of the $2 million needed to build and furnish the 13,000 square-foot synagogue.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.