Israel Conversations: Reflect on the Discussion and Add Your Voice Here

February 28, 2011

This past Friday at “Israel Conversations,”  each table at Shabbat dinner engaged with a leader about a different Israel-related topic.  Reflect on the discussion and, whether or not you attended, engage in the conversation here.  Comment on your general perspectives about Israel or go to one of the following links for material that was discussed about specific areas of focus.

Does Israel Still Have a Pioneering Spirit?

Reform Judaism and Pluralism in Israel

Israel’s History

Zionism Then and Now

The Declaration of Independence


Israel Conversations: The Declaration of Independence

February 28, 2011

At Israel Conversations last Shabbat, I sat at one of the tables and studied the text of Israel’s Declaration of Independence.  We were focused on it’s emphasis on Jewish history, it’s dedication to the dignity of other people’s, and the name it chooses when referring to God: Rock of Israel.  Review the text and add your thoughts.


Israel Conversations: Reform Judaism and Pluralism in Israel

February 28, 2011

At Israel Conversations last Shabbat, Marji Rosenbluth Philips discussed Reform Judaism and Pluralism in Israel, and referenced the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).  The conversation focused on the historic development of the separation of civil and political institutions in Israel that resulted in the orthodox rabbinate having control over civil issues such as marriage, bar/bat mitzvah and death.  Read the rest of this entry »


Israel Conversations: Does Israel Still Have a Pioneering Spirit?

February 28, 2011

At Israel Conversations last Shabbat, our congregation’s president Fred Strober discussed Israel’s pioneering spirit, and referenced the book, Start- Up Nation, by Dan Senor and Saul Singer .  His group explored whether Israel still has the pioneering spirit we associate with the days following the creation of the State.  They talked about what comprises a pioneering spirit and concluded that it involves risk taking, entering unchartered territories or initiatives and did not penalize failure.  They thought that these were the characteristics that allowed Israel, for example, to create a great 20th century agricultural economy.  They then asked ourselves whether, given all the strife regarding the territories and the prevalence of a “me culture” generally, the pioneering spirit is still alive.  They theorized that it must be for the Israeli economy to have taken off with so much technological achievement the past 20 or so years.  Read the rest of this entry »


Israel Conversations: Israel’s History

February 28, 2011

At Israel Conversations last Shabbat, RS Rabbi Emeritus Alan Fuchs discussed Israel’s History.  Take a look at this timeline as a refresher, and comment with your thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »


Israel Conversations: Zionism Then and Now

February 28, 2011

At Israel Conversations last Shabbat, Rabbi Howard Bogot lead the discussion, “Zionism Then and Now.”  The group discussed many different definitions of Zionism and found the following statements most resonated with their own feelings.  Have a look and then comment or share your own statement about Zionism. Read the rest of this entry »


Visioning Initiative

February 15, 2011

By Fred Strober, RS President

The weekend of March 4th through 6th is an important one for Rodeph Shalom.  It represents a critical point in the “Visioning Initiative” that your clergy and Board of Trustees initiated last fall to help determine—with your meaningful involvement—the future direction of our congregation.  Our “guide” for the weekend will be Rabbi Larry Hoffman, a leading intellectual force behind many of the changes over the past decade which have kept the Reform movement relevant.

Read the rest of this entry »