Bringing Conversations about Israel into the Life of American Congregations

Authors Alex Sinclair and Esti Moskovitz-Kalman discuss the new conversation needed in American synagogues regarding Israel. "Israel engagement" has meant lending political and philanthropic support to the beleaguered Jewish State. Today it must in mean something different, something more personal. Add you voice to the conversation!

See the full report at
http://synagogue3000.org/files/IsraelConversations.pdf

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2 Responses to “Bringing Conversations about Israel into the Life of American Congregations”

  1. Joe Says:

    This report is certainly a welcome contribution to the discussion. As I was reading, however, I was struck by the core unstated assumption of the document, that Jews should “engage” or be “committed” to Israel. I would question that underlying normative assumption. No serious pluralistic organization would claim that Jews should “engage” or be “committed” to halacha, arguably a much more central element of historic Jewish life and culture than the 60 year old state of Israel.

    It is exactly this assumption that undermines the otherwise wonderful suggestions of this report. Please do not misunderstand me, given the current place of Israel in mainstream Jewish discourse I do not think one can be part of a Jewish community and avoid the issue (as much as I may wish that were the case). Given that Israel is imposed on American Jews, I think your encouragement of dialogue over advocacy is a step in the right direction. And yet, the enclosed report’s assumption that Israel must be a part of Jewish identity and conversation furthers the imposition of Israel onto an American Judaism that is beginning to articulate an independent set of values. I want to encourage Synagogue 3000 to continue the important work of asking about the role of Israel in synagogue life, I just hope that that role can be interrogated rather than taken for granted. That is, I think S3K has a responsibility to articulate the why or why not of engaging with Israel at all before suggesting the how. I would be deeply curious to see how these unstated assumptions become articulated. As they do, I would encourage them not to take for granted the idea that Israel should be a part of American Judaism. If we did not have Israel engagement as a crutch, we may be forced to actually create a compelling and relevant diaspora Judaism.

  2. Yinon: Awesome Days Says:

    Kramer auto Pingback[…] (S3K) Bringing Conversations about Israel into the Life of American Congregations 20 hours […]

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