50 people gathered at the David Citadel Hotel this evening to open the
Conservative Movement Solidarity Mission. Our delegation includes 15
rabbis, 2 cantors, several other synagogue professionals and many
lay-leaders. We're proud that such a large group has joined our mission
with little notice.
opened tonight with greetings from Yizhar Hess, Executive Director of
Masorti Israel, Laura Lewis, Executive Director of the Masorti
Foundation, and Shueli Fast, the new Chair of the Masorti movement in
Israel. Then our chairs, Felipe Goodman and Bob Slosberg facilitated a
conversation where participants described how they came to be part of
the mission and what they hoped to gain from it. Barbara Goldstein of
Roslyn Heights, NY said "I came because I needed to be here." Many
others echoed her sentiments. Some were here earlier in the summer, but
felt they needed to come back now.
dinner, Felipe introduced our speaker, Hon. Professor Sholomo Avineri
of Hebrew University. He spoke about the difference between what might
have ideally happened between Israel and the Palestinians and what the
reality is. He noted that the peace negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinians were stuck and have been for a while. His suggestion was
that both sides look to build trust wherever possible rather than
looking to resolve their conflicting narratives. By taking small steps,
we can start to find our way out of the conflict. He said that partial
solutions that deal with details rather than with resolving narratives
are most likely to move peace negotiations forward. But he also noted
that even gestures that build trust take sacrifice and political will.
The group was left with much food for thought as we begin our first full
day on the ground in Israel tomorrow.
RA expresses its thanks to Yizhar Hess for all of his help in planning
this mission and especially for the last minute schedule changes. He
has worked tirelessly for the past week.
We go to
bed tonight uncertain if there will be a ceasefire tomorrow or not.
Either way, we will head to the South where we will visit with our
kehillot in Ashkelon, Beersheva and Omer, visit an Iron Dome battery,
and meet with soldiers. We look forward to the chance to hear from
colleagues and community members and bring them hizuk.
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance. Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm, calling God out, standing at the center of a whirlwind holding your ground.
No cathedral is immune to agony, no soul impervious to life itself
no nation purely noble. If it were any other way, there would be no need for cathedrals in the first place.
To kneel is to submit
to lower oneself
to step down
To kneel is to call attention
to touch the Earth's face
to listen to those
whose blood saturates
the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside
to step outside
to invite others to come closer
To kneel is not to stand
not to stand
not to stand idly by. Speak your truth, God damn it.