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
December 25, 2017 – January 3, 2018 | Registration open through May 2017
Visiting Israel with fellow BJ members, rabbis and staff is always a memorable experience. Our Israel trips combine service, study, and prayer and are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of Israeli society and culture.
As Israel celebrates 70 years of Independence, we are delighted to announce a new community trip scheduled from December 25, 2017 to January 3, 2018. Read more »
Sunday, April 30 | 11:30AM-12:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join MusicTalks for a fun filled Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration with the delightful children’s book, Ella’s Trip to Israel, narrated by Israeli actress Shira Averbuch. Come along as Ella discovers all of the most breathtaking Israeli sites such as Jerusalem, the Kotel, The Dead Sea, and the Israeli Shuk. Her magical journey through Israel will be brought to life with a sing along of the best known Israeli tunes, as well as original music written by Israeli composer Or Matias and performed by a musical ensemble. Following the interactive performance, the participants will be invited to meet the musicians up close and learn about the different instruments at our one of a kind “musical instrument petting zoo.”
$5 per person, walk-ins welcome. Please sign up here.
Check out our preview video below!
Sunday, April 30 | 2:00-6:00PM | 89th Street Community House Gym
Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut with the best of Israeli folk dances. Our friendly dancers will help you learn the steps (though a little experience in Israeli folk dancing is helpful!). The program ends with a mix of circle, line, and partner dances, selected mostly by request.
This special event is brought to you by Rikuday Dor Rishon, an Upper West Side community-based group dedicated to preserving the classic folk dances of Israel. Light refreshments will be served.
$5 entrance fee. Please sign up here.