This three-part Sabbath evening series explores the challenges Israel faces internally, on the world stage, and in its relationship with its greatest friend, the United States. The speakers represent different perspectives on the sometimes controversial subject of internal Jewish debate on how Israel can best fulfill its historic mission as a just democratic Jewish State while ensuring its physical security and political future, and what we can do to help.
Vatakim dinners for Beth Shalom empty nesters and mature couples and singles precede each session. (R.S.V.P. required for each dinner to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
All talks take place during Friday Evening Services beginning at 8:00 p.m. and are followed by an Oneg (refreshments).
Friday, March 10: Debate and Divestment: When Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic and When Is It Not?
Alan Ronkin explores the complicated strains on Israeli society and politics driven by the growing influence of Israel’s right wing, the very real security threats Israel is currently experiencing, the eroding chances for a two state solution, and the larger international context of escalating efforts to isolate Israel through the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement, all with an eye to exploring how those who may disagree with current Israeli policy can support peace, pluralism and civility in Israeli society.
Alan Ronkin, American Jewish Committee D.C. Regional Director, has been involved in Israel and community relations for over 20 years across the U.S. He has led successful campaigns to defeat anti-Israel ballot initiatives and assisted members of Congress in grappling with issues related to Israel and other Jewish causes.
Friday, May 12: Politics and Prose: Is There Room for Difference in American Jewish Support of Israel?
Jessica Simon explores the complicated landscape of American support for Israel within the Jewish community and on Capitol Hill, its impact on Israeli politics and society, and alternatives for supporting Israel and the democratic values Israel and America share.
Jessica Simon is the Deputy Regional Director, Capital Region, for J Street, a pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby for those who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people. Jessica has been involved in social justice activism in Israel and the United States, most recently with New Israel Fund.
Friday June 9: Annual Israel Bonds Shabbat featuring a prominent international specialist (TBA)
This special annual program in honor of Beth Shalom Congregation Israel Bonds purchases annually brings to Beth Shalom internationally known and respected speakers on Israeli politics, the peace process, and American-Israeli relations. The speaker will be announced in the spring. All are welcome to attend this engaging talk that takes place during Sabbath services with a speaker who comes to us courtesy of Israel Bonds.