A panel of three well-known rabbis and a moderator discuss what we need to know about Eretz Yisrael and how we can think and talk about the place that Israel – the land, the people, the values, and the promise of Israel – can and should have in our lives as progressive, North American Jews.
Part One: Supporting Israel 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Israel is home to millions of Jews and hundreds of organizations striving – and often succeeding – to live democratic, environmentally aware, egalitarian, and creative lives. This is often obscured by the better publicized problems of the Palestinian conflicts and failed peace initiatives, which can cause us to question the place that Israel has in our lives as North American Jews. By better understanding and supporting the reality of what is Israel today, we can better understand and strengthen our own personal connections to Israel.
Part Two: Critiquing Israel; Our Loyal Opposition 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
There is little about Israel that does not stir strong feelings and reactions, and this only underscores the strong place that Israel can have in our minds and in our hearts. Yet we often fail to understand or appreciate that those with whom we may not agree share with us a commitment to, and investment in, Israel. Can we as 21st century North American Jews, by better understanding the place that Israel has in our lives, learn to talk thoughtfully, meaningfully and productively about such bedrock existential issues as the Israeli government’s actions and policies toward Palestinians and the seeming dominance in Israel of orthodox halachic views over progressive on issues such as identity, plurality, and gender equality?