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, March 25 | 5:00-7:00PM | Location given upon registration
In this new salon series, BJ members will get to meet some of the most promising Israeli artists currently working in New York who 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 overlaying theme that will shed new light on Israeli arts and culture. Read more »
Monday, April 16 through June 15 | During community house opening hours | BJ Community House
Over the past two summers, photographer Saskia Bory Keeley partnered with Roots, an initiative now in its fourth year led by a Palestinian and Israeli settler committee who works at the heart of the conflict in the West Bank. Keeley conducted photo workshops exclusively for women who would otherwise have no contact with each other. Developing photographic skills was an important aspect of the program and just as essential was the opportunity for women “from the other side” to interact in a safe setting–many for the very first time in their lives.
The photos presented in this exhibit are a sample of selected works created by these talented women, providing us with an insight into their own world, their home and family, and their view of the conflict.