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Israel, Israel-Palestine

Informed by our Statement of Principles, Israel-related programming at Mishkan Shalom evolves in relation to the needs and concerns of our community.

“Our need to secure Israel must not blind us to the sufferings of the Palestinians, who also have ties to the land. The perpetuation of this suffering violates the Jewish commitments to justice and compassion. Jews and Palestinians must recognize and support one another’s rights to national self-determination in the land they share and revere.” 

Our congregation has a range of opinions regarding Israel and Palestine, but we are united in standing against inhumane actions. We are also guided by the core message of Passover: liberation, freedom, ending oppression and connection to the cycles of the earth. 

We are taught, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds.” We live in a global world, with many “neighbors” in many places. As we do here against decisions of our own government that undermine our democracy and challenge human rights, we challenge the decisions of the Israeli government when they contravene these principles.

We also hope you all read a previous month’s Kol Shalom which featured articles by Rabbi Shawn, Gene Bishop (z"l), and Carol Towarnicky, and the progressive resource page we put together on page 7 of that issue and study from Kaplan and Reconstructing Judaism movement’s spiritual Zionism for additional perspectives.

Statements from the Reconstructionist Movement and Progressive Jewish Organizations 


2022-2023 Offering:

Mishkan Shalom, for the second year, is one of the sponsoring Reconstructionist congregations in the new series: Reconstructionists Expanding Our Conversation About Israel/Palestine. Click here for dates, times, and speaker bios.

Over 1,100 people registered for the previous series, “Reconstructionist Rabbis Expanding the Conversation on Israel/Palestine." Based on the feedback the national organizers of the first series received, they have decided to launch a new set of conversations focused on hearing from and engaging with Palestinian academics and activists.

The national organizing committee (Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, Rabbi Brian Walt, Diana Ralph, Sue Lanser, Marcy Boroff, and Joel Beinin) has made the following commitment: “We will be guided by the values of justice and the dignity and equal worth of all human life, we seek to promote discussion of the histories and current conditions of Israel/Palestine that challenge the boundaries of current Reconstructionist approaches to Israel/Palestine and re-examine customary assumptions about the role of Israel in diaspora Jewish life. We oppose Israel’s domination of the Palestinian people in all its forms and hope to deepen our relations with Jews and Palestinians seeking a future of justice and equality in Israel/Palestine. We welcome those who consider themselves Zionists, non-Zionists, and anti-Zionists, and those unsure about how they define themselves even as we explore the meanings of those terms.”

The national organizing committee further states that they “are committed to conducting discussions with open hearts and minds, respectful listening, and acknowledgment of our shared commitment to the Jewish values of tzedek ve-chesed (justice and compassion) for all.”

If you have any questions, please contact Lee Gordon or Elinor Gollay, Havurah Israel/Palestine Committee co-chairs, or Havurah's Joel Beinin, who serves on the national organizing committee for these events. To register, click here: Speaker Series Registration.

Co-sponsored by Mishkan Shalom and the following Reconstructionist congregations: Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, Havurah Shalom Israel/Palestine Committee, and Or Haneshamah.


Previous Programs and Resources:

2022- Recordings from "Expanding Our Conversations About Israel-Palestine

Resources for Learning and Activism Regarding Israel and Palestine

This wide-ranging list, within the commitments of our Statement of Principles, will help us learn and engage with what is happening in North America and in the Middle East. It reflects a progressive perspective, without advocating for any particular organization. I began compiling this list as a communal resource and offer my thanks to a number of Mishkan Shalom members interested in re-energizing our Israel-Palestine engagement. With help from our members this list will grow over time. Please forward additional links to Rabbi Shawn Zevit.

To inquire about our Israel-Palestine Committee or programming please contact our committee chair Marcy Boroff.

Previous Programs: 

  • Ameinu Center for Jewish / Arab Education in Israel
  • Combatants for Peace Combatants for Peace
  • Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights (Rabbi Arik Ascherman) 
  • If Not Now Movement
  • JStreet
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Just Vision
  • Neve Shalom/Wahat Al Salaam
  • New Israel Fund
  • Open Hillel
  • Palestinian Peace Coalition
  • Partners for Progressive Israel
  • Rabbis for Human Rights 
  • Roots/Shorashim – connected to Mishkan Shalom friend Al Abu Awad Sulha Peace Project
  • Tikkun Magazine
  • The Parents’ Circle and American Friends of the Parent’s Circle 
  • Truah: Rabbis for Human Rights
  • Yad b'Yad Jewish/Arab/Palestinian Israeli school system



Thu, September 21 2023 6 Tishrei 5784