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Israel Discourse Advisory Committee

How do we talk about Israel at Judea Reform Congregation?

Called to make the synagogue a model for discourse about Israel and Palestine, Judea Reform Congregation’s Board of Trustees established an “Israel Discourse Policy.” Adopted in April, 2017, the policy affirms in part, that

[w]hile Judea Reform Congregation may choose not to host or sponsor speakers or programs that depart from [our core] values, our instinct is toward listening to ideas even when we may disagree with them, and even when they represent a viewpoint to the right or left of our Movement’s position.

Read the policy statement in its entirety here.

To implement our Israel Discourse Policy, an advisory committee was established. The committee’s charge (which may be read in its entirety here) is to serve as a clearinghouse for all Israel-related programming in the synagogue, and other Israel-related matters. The ideologically diverse body evaluates proposed programs, classes, speakers, etc., ensuring that nothing presented in JRC’s name advocates violence, antisemitism, or Islamophobia, and that the entirety of our programming presents a variety of viewpoints.

In 2019, the Board of Trustees of JRC voted unanimously to renew the charge and tenure of the Israel Discourse Advisory Committee for another 18 months. This committee has ably served JRC in partnership with rabbinic leadership as we continue our congregations Israel-related programming and engagement. IDAC has served an important advisory role to the President and has had some important, meaningful conversations about our work in this area. We are proud that The Union for Reform Judaism sees our policy and committee structure as a prototype for this important topic of great debate in Jewish life. Our model demonstrates our dedication to civil discourse in all matters, particularly as it relates to a topic of potentially great divide in our community. The Committee has recommitted to uphold the JRC Israel Discourse Policy and will continue to be a model for other discussions in our community. 

Click here to learn more about the IDAC review process.

Appointees to the committee include: Norman Loewenthal, Chair, Kenny Dalsheimer, Nancy Kalow Dektar, Caryn Hertz, Emily Katz, Aron Lelental, Arnie Lerman, Eric Muller, and Sigal Peter-Wohl. Judea Reform Congregation President Ziva Raney and Rabbi Matthew V. Soffer serve ex-officio.

Questions about policy or process, and suggestions for speakers and programs, may be directed to Norm Loewenthal.

Learn more about the committee’s ongoing activities through the reports posted in the sidebar on this page.

Fri, November 22 2019 24 Cheshvan 5780