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On Being Intelligently Pro-Israel

If we do not teach open-mindedness, tolerance, active listening, and an ability to seek out multiple viewpoints as essential tools in the Israel education process, then we are setting our students up to fail. We must provide young people with access to as much information about Israel (including its beauty and its blemishes) as possible in order to allow for independent thinking and individual conclusion drawing.

 

The Z: Progressive Zionism Reimagined

There is power in names. As United States Supreme Court Justice Reinhart says in overturning Proposition 8: “A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name if ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.” There are many ways to describe American Jewish relationships to Israel, but none are quite so potent as naming and claiming that connection across nations and cultures as “Zionism.” In short, I am a Zionist because I believe that there is immense power in the “Z word.” 

Relationship Status: Complicated

The year living in Jerusalem as an HUC-JIR student, showed me yet another side of Israel. Regularly interacting with Israelis at the grocery store, post office, in the shuk, in the Settlements, at the Kotel, both with Women of the Wall and without, helped me realize that Israel is a country like any other. The day-to-day lives of Israelis echo our day-to-day lives, their serious and not-so-serious problems resemble ours, their happiness fluctuates just as ours does, and just like my fellow American citizens, the people of Israel are not all the same

Israel: A Relationship in the Making

Growing up, Israel was always projected upon me (a certain vision of Israel was always presented to me). It was a magical place with great food, sacred sites, and a thriving Jewish culture. But I never truly understood why I should build a personal relationship with a country halfway around the world. As I reflect upon my three unique experiences in Israel, I appreciate how each one gave me a special connection to the Jewish state. It includes a deep connection and commitment to building Jewish community, appreciating differences in understandings of Judaism, utilizing leadership to serve people, expanding my Jewish education, and pursuing social justice for all people.

Even More Taking Back the Z From Arza

Start a 'Seventh Day' Conversation in Your Community

June 19, 2017

Want to bring ARZA learning about the Six Day War to your community?  

In six days, Israel won a war that would ensure its survival. 
But what happened on the seventh day, after the war was won? 

Take a look at these excellent resources for learning about the Six Day War in your community. 

Book Review: Israel's Moral Decline Pushed This Liberal Zionist to Embrace BDS

May 25, 2017

In his memoir, 'No Country for Jewish Liberals,' journalist and Haaretz editor Larry Derfner explains how he can live – and sleep at night – in a country whose racism and aggression he abhors.

The Seventh Day: Israel at a Crossroads on the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War

May 23, 2017

Register now for an afternoon of learning on the complex legacy of the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and what it means for Israel and the Jewish community. Featuring a concert by Banot!

Jerusalem, a Fractured Unity: Yom Yerushalayim 5777

May 23, 2017

A vision of heavenly Jerusalem floats above it all, reminding us that this is not the way it is meant to be.  Jerusalem also carries a whiff of peace—as ‘ir shalom, the city of wholeness.  The reality may be painful and fractured, but the ideal is that we should learn how to pray and live side by side with one another.

Reconciling Victory and Inequality, Triumph and Struggle: Fifty Years After the Six Day War

May 18, 2017

On June 11th in New York City, join us for "The Seventh Day: Israel at a Crossroads on the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War. Enrich your understanding of the relationship between contemporary Israel and the Diaspora as we honestly and openly ask: where are we as we mark these 50 years, where do we need to go, and how will we get there? 

The New “Nationality Law” Defines Israel as a Jewish State. What Could be Wrong with That?

May 8, 2017

On Sunday, May 7, a Knesset committee approved a long-gestating “Nationality Bill” that would certify as a Basic Law that Israel is, indeed, the world’s Jewish State. Why would any Zionist oppose a law that is such a no-brainer?

Oslo on Broadway: The Long Shorter Road

April 13, 2017

“There is a short road that is actually long, and a long road that is actually short.”

—a young boy to Rabbi Yehoshua, Talmud, Eruvin 53b

The play Oslo opened this week on Broadway: a timely, talky drama set in 1993 during the secret talks between Israelis and the Palestinian Liberation Organization...

The AIPAC drinking game

April 4, 2017

Memo to liberal, non-Orthodox Jews (as well as Jewish liberals): if fervent support for Israel becomes largely limited to a. Republicans and b. Orthodox Jews, then we will have massive challenges. Support for Israel will become an ideological ghetto.

That’s the sobering news.

On Being Intelligently Pro-Israel

If we do not teach open-mindedness, tolerance, active listening, and an ability to seek out multiple viewpoints as essential tools in the Israel education process, then we are setting our students up to fail. We must provide young people with access to as much information about Israel (including its beauty and its blemishes) as possible in order to allow for independent thinking and individual conclusion drawing.

 

Dreams Deferred: The Resource We’ve Been Waiting for to Respond to BDS

The Z: Progressive Zionism Reimagined

December 27, 2016

There is power in names. As United States Supreme Court Justice Reinhart says in overturning Proposition 8: “A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name if ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.” There are many ways to describe American Jewish relationships to Israel, but none are quite so potent as naming and claiming that connection across nations and cultures as “Zionism.” In short, I am a Zionist because I believe that there is immense power in the “Z word.” 

Relationship Status: Complicated

December 27, 2016

The year living in Jerusalem as an HUC-JIR student, showed me yet another side of Israel. Regularly interacting with Israelis at the grocery store, post office, in the shuk, in the Settlements, at the Kotel, both with Women of the Wall and without, helped me realize that Israel is a country like any other. The day-to-day lives of Israelis echo our day-to-day lives, their serious and not-so-serious problems resemble ours, their happiness fluctuates just as ours does, and just like my fellow American citizens, the people of Israel are not all the same

Israel: A Relationship in the Making

December 27, 2016

Growing up, Israel was always projected upon me (a certain vision of Israel was always presented to me). It was a magical place with great food, sacred sites, and a thriving Jewish culture. But I never truly understood why I should build a personal relationship with a country halfway around the world. As I reflect upon my three unique experiences in Israel, I appreciate how each one gave me a special connection to the Jewish state. It includes a deep connection and commitment to building Jewish community, appreciating differences in understandings of Judaism, utilizing leadership to serve people, expanding my Jewish education, and pursuing social justice for all people.