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
Sunday, July 29 | 5:00-6:30PM | Location Given Upon registration
BJ’s Israeli Book Club is more than just your typical reading group—it is an intimate encounter with Israeli culture, society, and politics. Join us for a good read and nuanced conversation that will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary Israeli issues.
Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today.
Second Sunday of Each Month*, Beginning September 2 | 5:30-7:00PM | Location Given Upon Registration
Get together with other Hebrew speakers to discuss current affairs. Each month, a topic will be chosen and reading material (in both English and Hebrew) will be provided. At each meeting, we will hold a discussion in Hebrew.
The meetings are facilitated by Rabbi Yisrael Serok, former senior in the Mossad, who was in charge of the underground immigration of Jews from Syria and other Arab countries. Rabbi Serok has vast knowledge of both contemporary Israeli society and Jewish sources, and always offers a unique perspective on Israeli current affairs.
Every First Sunday, January-June 2019 | 5:00-7:00PM | Location Given Upon Registration
In this six-part salon series, BJ members will get to meet some of the most promising Israeli artists working in New York today, each of whom are represented by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF). These musicians, artists, singers, and actors will perform in an intimate home setting, drawing on an overarching theme that will shed new light on Israeli arts and culture. The series is curated by BJ’s music director Dan Nadel, and facilitated by BJ’s shaliah Moshe Samuels.
Meeting Dates: January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2
Interested in hosting one of these fabulous salons? Please contact Moshe Samuels.