We commit ourselves to this course to preserve an essential element of a community – the ability to meet and talk as brothers and sisters.
by Jane Eisner
Published July 16, 2014
The Jewish Daily FORWARD
Yesterday, Jews and Muslims in Israel, New York and other communities decided to take advantage of a calendric symmetry to assert their connection to one another, if only by breaking bread after a daylong fast.
For Jews, it was the 17th of Tammuz, when the walls around the ancient city of Jerusalem were breached, marking the beginning of the end of the Second Temple. It was also the 18th day of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims refrain from eating from sun-up to sundown.
Resetting the Table works with organizations and networks across New York City to create inclusive, empowering forums for young adult Jews to talk, study, deliberate, and form their own relationship to Israel. Resetting the Table’s aim is to transform dominant norms of communication on Israel among New York Jews in their 20s and 30s from avoidance, intimidation, and antagonism toward exploration, empowerment, and collaborative deliberation. We believe that American Jews desire and deserve a communal environment in which they can speak thoughtfully with their peers about their relationship to Israel, a topic central to American Jewish identity, without fear.
Posted by Rabbi Melissa Weintraub
In rabbinic circles, one increasingly hears sentiments like, “I’m not going to get fired for my politics on gun control or health care, but I could get fired for just about anything I say about Israel.” Rabbi Scott Perlo has coined this the “Death by Israel Sermon.” Across the country, our communal discourse on Israel has grown so ugly that many have stopped caring and engaging at all.
I work with institutions and leaders across the country to build open, constructive communication across political divides on Israel. I’d like to share three patterns that prevail in the current American Jewish conversation about Israel, why it should urgently concern us and what we can do about it.
THE JEWISH COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS (JCPA) is the united voice of the organized Jewish community. For over 70 years, the JCPA has served as an effective mechanism to identify issues, formulate policy, develop strategies and programs, and has given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. Through our network of 14 national and 125 local partner agencies, the JCPA serves as a catalyst that heightens community awareness, encourages civic and social involvement, and deliberates key issues of importance to the Jewish community.