Israel, Israel-Palestine

Reconciliation Activist Ali Abu Awwad Speaks at Mishkan Shalom
  Mishkan's Statement of Principles on Israel-Related Programming   Informed by our Statement of Principles, Israel-related programming at Mishkan Shalom evolves in relation to the needs and concerns of our community.

Mishkan Shalom is a diverse congregation with a deep commitment to justice.  Our founding Statement of Principles asserts in part

“Our need to secure Israel must not blind us to the sufferings of the Palestinians, who also have ties to the land. The perpetuation of this suffering violates the Jewish commitments to justice and compassion. Jews and Palestinians must recognize and support one another’s rights to national self-determination in the land they share and revere.” 

Our congregation has a range of opinions regarding Israel and Palestine, but we are united in standing against inhumane actions. We are also guided by the core message of Passover- liberation, freedom, ending oppression and connection to the cycles of the earth. 

We are taught, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds.” We live in a global world, with many “neighbors” in many places. As we do here against decisions of our own government that undermine our democracy and challenge human rights, we challenge the decisions of the Israeli government when they contravene these principles.

We also hope you all read a previous month’s Kol Shalom which featured articles by Rabbi Shawn, Gene Bishop (z"l), and Carol Towarnicky, and the progressive resource page we put together on page 7 of that issue and study from Kaplan and Recon movement’s spiritual Zionism for additional perspectives.

Statements from the Reconstructionist Movement and Progressive Jewish Organizations 


2022-23 Offering:

Mishkan Shalom, for the second year, is one of the sponsoring Reconstructionist congregations in the new series Reconstructionists Expanding Our Conversation About Israel/Palestine. 

Over 1,100 people registered for the previous series, “Reconstructionist Rabbis Expanding the Conversation on Israel/Palestine." Based on the feedback the national organizers of the first series received, they have decided to launch a new set of conversations focused on hearing from and engaging with Palestinian academics and activists.

(Click here for dates, times and speaker bios.)


The national organizing committee (Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, Rabbi Brian Walt, Diana Ralph, Sue Lanser, Marcy Boroff, and Joel Beinin) has made the following commitment: “We will be guided by the values of justice and the dignity and equal worth of all human life, we seek to promote discussion of the histories and current conditions of Israel/Palestine that challenge the boundaries of current Reconstructionist approaches to Israel/Palestine and re-examine customary assumptions about the role of Israel in diaspora Jewish life. We oppose Israel’s domination of the Palestinian people in all its forms and hope to deepen our relations with Jews and Palestinians seeking a future of justice and equality in Israel/Palestine. We welcome those who consider themselves Zionists, non-Zionists, and anti-Zionists, and those unsure about how they define themselves even as we explore the meanings of those terms.”

The national organizing committee further states that they “are committed to conducting discussions with open hearts and minds, respectful listening, and acknowledgement of our shared commitment to the Jewish values of tzedek ve-chesed (justice and compassion) for all.”

If you have any questions, please contact Lee Gordon or Elinor Gollay, Havurah Israel/Palestine Committee co-chairs, or Havurah's Joel Beinin, who serves on the national organizing committee for these events. To register, click here: Speaker Series Registration.

Co-sponsored by Mishkan Shalom and the following Reconstructionist congregations: Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, Havurah Shalom Israel/Palestine Committee, and Or Haneshamah. (List 

Previous Programs and Resources:

2022- Recordings from "Expanding Our Conversations About Israel-Palestine" 

Resources for Learning and Activism Regarding Israel and Palestine

This wide-ranging list, within the commitments of our Statement of Principles, will help us learn and engage with what is happening in North America and in the Middle East. It reflects a progressive perspective, without advocating for any particular organization. I began compiling this list as a communal resource and offer my thanks to a number of Mishkan Shalom members interested in re-energizing our Israel-Palestine engagement. With help from our members this list will grow over time. Please forward additional links to Rabbi Shawn Zevit.

To inquire about our Israel-Palestine Committee or programming please contact our committee chair Marcy Boroff.

To participate in our newly created Israel-Palestine discussion listserve please e-mail Seth Horwitz.

We appreciate the work of Friends of the Earth Middle East as well as Rabbi Yonatan Neril, The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development and others who understand that environmental justice is key to the safety, security and future of the Middle East. No initiative will provide the peace desired without addressing the environmental degradation of water and soil and rising sea levels. The Arava Institute does amazing peace and conflict resolution work in the context of their academic programs on sustainability and ecology.

Ameinu Center for Jewish / Arab Education in Israel


Combatants for Peace Combatants for Peace

Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights (Rabbi Arik Ascherman) 

If Not Now Movement


Jewish Voice for Peace

Just Vision

Neve Shalom/Wahat Al Salaam

New Israel Fund

Open Hillel

Palestinian Peace Coalition

Partners for Progressive Israel

Rabbis for Human Rights 

Roots/Shorashim – connected to Mishkan Shalom friend Al Abu Awad Sulha Peace Project

Tikkun Magazine

The Parents’ Circle and American Friends of the Parent’s Circle 

Truah: Rabbis fir Human Rights

Yad b'Yad Jewish/Arab/Palestinian Israeli school system


Read Rabbi Shawn's Israel Triplog

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Rabbis Shawn & Simcha Zevit just returned from an intensive visit with peace & justice partners in Israel, including our recent guest, Ali Abu Awwad (see below).

Read Rabbi Shawn's Triplog, see photos and link to videos and websites of related organizations here.

Yom Ha'atzmaut/Israel Independence Day 2015:

Guest Speaker: Rachel Winner

Welcome Rachel Winner, Project and Development Manager of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development in Jerusalem. Learn about the Israeli-Palestinian/interfaith cooperation work that “Interfaith Sustain” is doing in Jerusalem and the larger area especially in this Shmita year.

Click here for full details.

The View from the Leftern Wall: Moriel Rothman-Zecher Speaks (3/6/15)

American-Israeli writer, poet, non-violent anti-occupation activist and Israeli Army refusenik is hosted by RRC at a breakfast and our Friday nite community potluck. Details, links of interest & RSVP here.

Reconciliation Activist Ali Abu Awwad Spoke to 100+ (10/9/14)

Many communities joined Mishkan Shalom in welcoming noted Palestinian pacifist Ali Abu Awwad to our "Canopy of Peace." Over 130 people heard him speak. Learn more about his work here.


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