Join us IN PERSON IN OUR SANCTUARY for a congregational conversation on “How we Talk about Israel and Palestine.” Registration is required; please see your NVHC email for the registration link. The facts on the ground in the Middle East are intricate and difficult, and they are further complicated by the discourse here in the United States about those facts.The topic is important to us because the State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, and the home for many of our family members. The state depends upon the strategic and financial support of the United States, so discourse here affects security there. And the ongoing struggle to resolve questions of occupation, refugee status, residency, permanent borders, equal rights, and self-defense force us to consider how Jewish values are expressed when Jews have the responsibility and power of sovereignty.
The topic is also complicated for us because it has become entangled with American partisanship so political forces push positions on the Israel/Palestinian conflict into rigid alignment with larger sets of policy views. In addition, attitudes and social norms about Israel have shifted dramatically over the history of the state, so terms and ideas that were completely unheard of for one generation are now commonplace for another. In addition, when fighting flares up in Israel/Palestine, and people make public statements about the conflict, acts of Anti-Semitism skyrocket on-line, in our schools and in our streets.
And, lastly, the topic is urgent for us, because, as you may be aware, three weeks ago a member of the Fairfax County Public Schools tweeted some harsh criticisms of Israel and then the Jewish Community Relations Council publicly rescinded an award they were due to give her. The controversy was painful and brought protestors into the street outside an FCPS school board meeting.
A Congregational Conversation is a format we have developed to deepen our discourse and create opportunities to foster viewpoint diversity. The evening will include prayer, study, silence, story-telling and the sharing of ideas. We do this within the covenantal relationship we share as members of NVHC, because our communal values ensure dignity and respect for all perspectives. If you have been personally affected by this topic and you have a story you would like to share with the congregation, please contact ShowClick Here to View Contact Information in advance so that we can make sure you are part of the program.
Please see your NVHC email for the link to register.