Yom Ha’Atzmaut


May 19, 2024    
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Since way before October 7th, Ohev has been long overdue for a communal conversation regarding our many relationships and experiences with the State of Israel, and as we head into the part of the ritual year cycle which centers the modern state, we would be remiss not to make some time for that intercommunal encounter.

At 4:00 this Sunday 5/19, I will be holding a structured opportunity for sharing among community members. The goals of this gathering will be:

  • To reflect on our own experiences and connections to Israel.
  • To identify for ourselves what is at stake for us personally, emotionally, ethically, spiritually, and communally when it comes to the modern State of Israel.
  • To share from the heart about what informs our many commitments and perspectives.
  • To hear one another with compassion and curiosity.
  • To gain a better idea of how our fellow community members are thinking and feeling.
  • To acclimate ourselves to talking out loud with one another about a topic that can often be difficult, and which sometimes feels easier to avoid.

This gathering will not be:

  • A debate between political/policy perspectives.
  • An avenue for proposing litmus tests for participation in Jewish community or for Jewish authenticity.
  • An arena in which to judge the actions and perspectives of others.

For those of us who have a stake in the State of Israel and in its participation on the world stage, there is absolutely a need to discuss policy alternatives and to do the deep discernment that is required to find our own ethical positions.  That will not be the work of this particular gathering, since we need to begin with the more foundational work of learning how to come together across differences with mutual compassion. The more explicitly political conversations will be richer and less likely to cause rifts when we begin from a place of understanding and trust.

I urge you to join us if you are able, especially if you feel that it has been difficult to talk with others about Israel in recent months. RSVP’s are not required, but they will help us plan. There is also space on the RSVP form to let us know if you are choosing not to attend for any specific reason, and to help us better address any needs or concerns you may have.