Israel at 70 Newsletter

David Bernat's Yom Haatsmaut Reflection
Chevre Friends

Psalm 90 states that a full lifespan is 70 years. Today, on the 5th of Iyyar, we mark Israel's 70th year and look forward to the next stage of our homeland's life. This special Yom Haatsmaut bulletin speaks to Synagogue Council's "all in" commitment to, and relationship with, Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Medinat Yisrael, the people, land and modern State of Israel. I invite you to read my complete Independence Day reflection, click HERE and take note of our programs, initiatives, and partnerships through which we live out our Israel engagement. For those in the Greater Boston area, I urge you to attend the community-wide Celebrate Israel event on Sunday May 6.
Celebrate Israel at 70

Synagogue Council Programs and Initiatives
Mark Your Calendars:
Sunday, June 3, 5:30pm   |   Temple Emunah, Lexington

Modeling Women's Leadership
Join us for a Champagne reception and keynote panel featuring prominent and innovative leaders from various arenas including Ruthanne Fuller, the first female Mayor of Newton, healthcare advocate and educator Lauren Corduck, founder of OneinForty, and Reut Weksler, founder and head of Dror Israel's
Urban Kibbutz Movement

The event will launch a new initiative to cultivate women's mentorship and young leadership in congregations and in the Jewish Community. The initiative honors the memory and legacy of Anita Redner z''l by continuing the work to which she was so deeply committed.

Details of the event, the initiative, tickets, and sponsorship coming soon.
Questions? Contact the Synagogue Council office. | (617) 244-6506
The Synagogue Then and Now:
Israel Experience and Unity Mission
February 26 - March 10, 2019

Led by David Bernat PhD 
SCM Executive Director & 
Meah Instructor

Itinerary and registration info. coming soon.

A partnership with Hebrew College Adult Learning and

Our Partners
The Boston Media Room

Combined Jewish Philanthropies has teamed up with the Israeli American Council to create the Boston Media Room, a real-time online advocacy center. Our Media Room is empowering community members to create engaging pro-Israel content that reaches thousands of people on social media and through our mobile app, . The student ambassadors and adult mentors who staff the Boston Media Room have created a powerful new pro-Israel voice in our community. 

Click HERE for more information about Boston Media Room.
Ve'Ahavta TLV Experience

Ve'Ahavta's mission is to enhance unity in Israeli  society by creating inclusive and non-judgmental communities where religious,  traditional and secular Jewish young families live  side by side, supported by attentive spiritual leaders. 

Our communities generate a firm Jewish identity with  a unique blend of mutual tolerance and respect, which  makes people from a broad variety of backgrounds feel
a strong sense of belonging. Through joint learning and  experiencing as well as open dialogue, we strengthen  solidarity in Israeli society.

Ve'Ahavta will be developing 25 communities across Tel Aviv in the coming 5 years. Thereafter, Ve'Ahavta is planning to spread out and develop tens of such communities across major cities in Israel, trying to generate a social grassroots movement which unifies Israeli society via Judaism.

Click HERE to view a video clip about Ve'Ahavta's mission.
Dror Israel

Dror Israel is one of the largest, most diverse and unique educational organizations in Israel, with 1,500 trained professional educators serving 100K people every year throughout Israel.

Dror Israel's vision for Israelis a society of democracy, equality, and peace created through education and community , where all share responsibility, benefit from opportunity , and realize their own potential .

Our mission is to educate and empower young people and those on the social and geographic periphery to actively contribute to their communities and to create a shared society in Israel.

Through community partnerships, educational initiatives, Jewish-Arab youth programs, schools for at-risk youth, the youth movement, and public events, we inspire inclusivity, equality, and responsibility for oneself and one's community.

Dror Israel's network includes Yesodot Letzmichah Dror, a service oriented urban Kibbutz Movement

Dror Israel's website -
Contact: Gilad Perry, Director of International Partnerships -
Urgent BDS Alert

Cambridge City Council (CCC) Resolution to Boycott HP
A Shameless Undemocratic Abdication 
to the Global BDS Movement?

On April 23rd, the   City Council of Cambridge, MA  is scheduled to consider a resolution that invites a boycott of   Hewlett Packard  (HP) for business done with Israel. The initiative is supported by Our Revolution Cambridge, Democratic Socialists of America, and Students for Justice in Palestine. It is being proposed by   Mass Against HP(MAHP), a working group of Jewish Voice for Peace. These organizations actively cooperate with the international   BDS  (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which, in the words of its leaders, is   dedicated to Israel's destruction.

  • National and Massachusetts Leaders of the Left, Right and Center Reject BDS Initiatives BDS initiatives fuel polarization and strengthen those who reject co-existence. National leaders from the left, right and center reject BDS. They include, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, Cory Booker, John Kerry, Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Capuano, Joe Kennedy, Deval Patrick and all 50 governors.
  • The Cambridge City Council (CCC) Has Cynically Suppressed Open Public Debate Members of the CCC have collaborated with MAHP to introduce this highly politicized anti-Israel resolution. They have not reached out to interested community members to inform themselves and refused to share the resolution when asked. It will be released late Thursday afternoon, only two full business days before the council meets.
  • Allegations That Justify the Reported Resolution Rest on Half Truths and Falsehoods MAHP argues that Israeli security measures, introduced after thousands of Israeli civilians were murdered and maimed by terrorists, are equivalent to apartheid. It is a hateful logic that undermines those who seek conciliation.
  • Singling Out Israel Would Raise Troubling Questions About the Cambridge City Council's Motives There are hundreds of American companies working overseas and engaged in transactions that could be tied to questionable human rights practices. Even were we to assume (and we don't) that everything Israel's detractors say is true, why would the CCC choose to single out Israel? As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman explains, "Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic ... But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."
  • The Cambridge City Council Would Hold Israel to a Standard That It Does Not Apply to Itself In 2017, the CCC established a special relationship with Dongguan, China. Dongguan is a toy manufacturing center for Disney, Mattel and others. Human rights abuses against laborers in the Dongguan toy industry are well-documented. Yet, the CCC has said nothing about this. Should the CCC vote to boycott itself?
TAKE ACTION .... This is a Numbers Game. To win this fight we need a thousand voices to:
  • Inform ourselves by reviewing this fact sheet and the more detailed talking points.
  • Contact all 9 city council members and share your concern about this resolution.
  • Reach out to friends and neighbors. Forward this email and urge them to join you.
  • Contact your Rabbi or other organizational leaders and ask them to mobilize their membership.
  • Attend the hearing and bring concerned friends whether or not you choose to speak.
  • For information on signing up to speak at the April 23rd hearing (non-residents eligible), please contact the Cambridge City Council at 617-349-4280. We will provide additional information regarding online registration when it becomes available (likely late Thursday afternoon).
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