Israel

“It is one thing to be for a cause. It is another to be in a cause.”

~ Heschel

Congregation Kehillath Israel supports Israel and strives to actively encourage our members to develop an active relationship with Israel by sponsoring programs and providing resources across five major areas.

Advocacy – Many of our congregants are active in AIPAC, both locally and nationally.  We have hosted training seminars on how to discuss and actively lobby for Israeli issues with others, including local politicians and officials.

Education – We regularly host speakers and programs from and about Israel. This includes topics of science, technology, politics, art and more.  Israel themed adult education courses and series are also held throughout the year.

Culture – With many Israeli members, we actively embrace Israeli culture, hosting events such as Israeli dancing and Shabbat dinners with Israeli food and music. Travel to Israel is actively encouraged, either individually, or during annual trips with Rabbi Hamilton that include study at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Outreach – One of our priorities is outreach to NE area Israelis, as well as partnership with conservative synagogues in Israel.

Support  – We work to actively support Israel, through campaigns for the IDF, Magen Adom, and cultural exchanges with education institutes and other congregations within Israel.

Pre-Eminent Scholars

KI has hosted many Israeli scholars.  In many cases, these visits are in conjunction with our Library of Gratitude books.  Each year, a single book is purchased and sent to every member household.  Throughout the year, events and discussions are held based on the book’s topic.

Two in our recent past have been:

Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein Ha Levi, about….  Discussions on this book included:

  • panel discussion with IDF veterans currently studying at Brandeis University about the book’s assumptions and key ideas;
  • series of hosted Shabbat dinners to encourage meaningful discussions about the book;
  • series of tasteBook sessions with Rabbi Hamilton on the book’s core equestions
  • visit and discussion with the book’s author led by Brandeis President Fred Lawrence (see below)

Israel:  A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, by Daniel Gordis

Daniel Gordis was also the speaker for our Centennial Gala in 2017.

He returned again this year to discuss his newest book:  Israel’s Purpose & Ours.

Israel-related News & Information

Haaretz is Israel’s oldest daily newspaper.  It is know for its liberal stances on domestic and foreign issues.

The Jerusalem Post is an English language publication based in Jerusalem.  Under a variety of editors in recent years, it generally has had a centrist or conservative perspective.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is an international news agency and wire service serving Jewish community newspapers and media    around the world.  It claims no allegiance to any specific branch of Judaism or political viewpoint.

The Times of Israel is an English-language on-line publication that aspires to an independent editorial position.

Ynetnews is the online English-language Israeli news website of Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most-read newspaper.  Yedioth Ahronoth is considered centrist by many.

Background Information

News feed of the Embassy of Israel in the United States

Background information on Israel from the Embassy

The World Factbook: Israel provides extensive basic imformation about Israel.

Educational resources provided by the Jewish Agency.

The Israel Committee of the USCJ offers information about the Conservative Movement in Israel and other topics.