Welcome to the JRF Statements and Resources page for events in the Middle East.
JRF has added a diverse array of resources to the rich collection of materials relating to Israel already on the website. We hope these resources will assist in understanding the issues and in promoting dialogue within your communities.
Please note that every heading is a clickable link to the resource.
- Israel Resources from the JRF Resources Library / www.jrf.org/israel-resources - This broad collection of articles, bibliographies, lesson plans, activities, divrei Torah, and frequently asked questions is a rich resource for congregations in approaching the topic of Israel.
- A Guide to Talking about Israel in Your Congregation – Rabbi Toba Spitzer, rabbi at Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton, MA, created this discussion guide with the goal of having open and honest discussion within our JRF communities.
- Keeping Informed about Israel - A fairly comprehensive list of media, government and non-profit sources of information about Israel on the internet.
- The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) / www.jewishpublicaffairs.org - JRF is a national member of the JCPA, whose mission is to serve as the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community in addressing the principal mandate of the Jewish community relations field, expressed in three interrelated goals: To safeguard the rights of Jews in the U.S. and around the world; to dedicate itself to the safety and security of the state of Israel; to protect, preserve and promote a just American society, one that is democratic and pluralistic, one that furthers harmonious interreligious, interethnic interracial and other intergroup relations. The JCPA statement on the Gaza crisis and multiple resources are available on its website.
- United Jewish Communities (UJC) – UJC represents and serves 157 Jewish federations and 400 independent Jewish communities across North America. It reflects the values of social justice and human rights that define the Jewish people. Here the UJC/Federation system responds to the Gaza situation.
- Israel Advocacy Initiative (IAI) - The Israel Advocacy Initiative (IAI) is a joint project of the UJC and JCPA created to work with communities to build grassroots support for Israel. The IAI assists communities in outreach to key non-Jewish leaders, meeting challenges on campus, and effectively communicating messages through the media. Resources include an Internet rumors and hoaxes archive, Middle East media watch, and weekly Middle East briefing.
- IAI Crisis in Gaza statements - As part of its Israel Advocacy Initiative, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, of which JRF is a member, and the UJC offer a broad listing of statements from elected officials and organizations in response to the crisis.
- Keeping Informed about Israel – From the JRF website, this is a fairly comprehensive list of media, government and non-profit sources of information about Israel on the internet.
- PowerPoint presentation on Gaza - A three-minute educational slide show on Hamas, Gaza and Israel published by the JCRC of Greater Boston.
- Prayer for the State of Israel – Read the Reconstructionist Tefilah Limdinat Yisra’el / Prayer for the State of Israel from Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim Sabbath and Festival Prayerbook (pp. 420-421) in both English and Hebrew.
- Sampling of JRF Statements on Israel – Read a sampling of statements from The Reconstructionist in 1948, the Federation of Reconstructionists Congregations and Havurot (FRCH) in 1988, and by JRF in 2000.
- Oznia Teen Israel Blog - Written by high school students, for high school students, Oznia is a collective of young bloggers and activists, dedicated to gathering exciting, engaging and challenging nuggets about Israel and Zionism. The name “Oznia” is Hebrew for “earbud” and expresses our goal of getting students “plugged in” to the amazing diversity and complexity of Israel. Oznia: A Blog of Israel Things, is a project seeded by the AVI CHAI Foundation.
- MAKOM Interactive Israel Website - Ha’aretz and the Jewish Agency for Israel have teamed up to build an interactive website for all ages through a new program called MAKOM: Israel excites, alienates and compels. How are we as Jews implicated in Israel's achievements, mistakes, and challenges? MAKOM invites you to join an ongoing conversation about hugging and wrestling with Israel. It includes message boards, surveys, articles, videos, and more.
Statement on Pluralism and Conversion Bill in Israel
Read the JRF Statement on the Gaza Flotilla Incident
A Statement from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation [January 16, 2009]
We are deeply saddened that violence has once again engulfed Israelis and Palestinians. We share in the fear and loss experienced by Israelis caught in rocket fire from Hamas and are also concerned with the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We stand with the people of Israel in this time of crisis and support the right of Israel to do everything necessary to protect its population. We support all efforts to negotiate a meaningful, lasting resolution of the current conflict that will provide true security for Israel’s citizens. We decry criticisms of Israel that devolve into hate speech and anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish people and on Israel’s right to exist.
While the ultimate resolution of the current conflict depends on the decisions of Israel and of Hamas, this crisis is an opportunity to become educated about the history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict; to work to maintain open and respectful debate of the issues; and to support humanitarian efforts that aid victims on both sides – Israeli citizens living in communities in the south and the civilians of Gaza caught in the cross fire. Our thoughts are also with IDF soldiers risking their lives for Israel.
We reaffirm our call for a just and lasting peace that will protect Israel’s right to a secure existence and that will also fulfill the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.