We believe that Israel is at the center of the Jewish narrative and Jewish identity. We understand that our fate as a congregation is linked to our engagement with the State of Israel. We affirm the central Jewish value of love of Israel and are committed to a meaningful relationship with the state and its peoples. We marvel at the wonder of a sovereign nation that has in-gathered its exiles, defended its borders, and moved from pioneering achievements in agriculture to astounding success in high technology. Israel has evolved from a besieged fledgling to a thriving nation that radiates a continuing promise of renewed Jewish culture.
We believe that it is critical to encounter realities about Israel: We need to educate ourselves and to explore our connections to it in order to embrace, to discern, and to help. By creating relationships with the people of Israel who are busy remaking the nation today we can each forge a personal connection to our brothers and sisters there and learn to appreciate the nuances of a complex society. This type of engagement is essential to developing informed stances on the future of Zionism on peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and to help bring about needed social change within Israel. We also strongly support those in Israel who are dedicated to revitalizing and creating new pathways into liberal religious Israeli Judaism, particularly for those who have been alienated by the extent of Orthodox religious and political power in the country.
Through our Department of Israel Engagement we are committed to create rich programming as well as opportunity for conversation about the ever changing landscape of Israeli society and culture. We will continue to pursue various causes to support social action and social justice initiatives in Israel, both as a congregation and as individuals through sponsoring representative speakers as well as through participation, such as the annual Mishloah Manot fundraiser.
UPCOMING ISRAEL PROGRAMMING
Monday, March 25 | 5:00-7:00PM and 7:00-9:00PM | Community House
Registration for this series is closed. Classes are held every Monday.
Join members of the BJ, Habonim and Shaare Zedek communities in a small group environment to build and improve your Hebrew conversational skills. The Hebrew Ulpan course teaches the fundamental structure of Hebrew and its basic forms, as well as the necessary vocabulary for everyday conversations, reading, and writing. This class is open to both members and non-members of the three synagogues so invite your friends to join!
Tuesday, April 2 | 7:00-8:30PM | Community House
Join us for a five-session series, featuring five short Israeli films that were carefully chosen from dozens of prize-winning works. The films present various perspectives on key issues in Israeli society. These movies will serve as a platform for post-screening discussions, allowing participants to reflect on diverse and relevant aspects of the Israeli people, culture and politics.
This series is free of charge, but registration is required. Sign up for your preferred screening(s) via the form below.
Tuesday, April 2 & Wednesday, April 10 | 7:00-8:30PM | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
On April 9, Israel will be holding a critical general election. After three terms of Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister, the center-left block will try to win, and the right ultra-orthodox block will try to maintain its power. The Israeli political system is more complicated than ever before, and, in turn, hard to navigate. These two sessions, held pre and post elections respectively, will help you understand the political map leading up to the elections, and analyze their results.