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A reflection written by Rabbi Amy Joy Small, RRC ’97, may serve as a guide and help us to cope with the sustained heartache regarding violence during the summer of 2014. Amy wrote this having just returned from nearly a month of study in Jerusalem, including eight days with 20 of her colleagues in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Statement July, 2014: The board of governors of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities/Reconstructionist Rabbinical College affirms that there are diverse opinions about Israel across the Reconstructionist movement. We aim to foster civil discourse across this diversity and create a space where we can talk together about Israel, rather than at each other—even if it means that the only thing we are sharing is how our hearts are breaking.

Only by sitting in the center—keeping our hearts open and holding onto the complexity of the tragedy—can we stay constructively engaged with Israel in times of crisis. The links below include resources and reflections that are designed to help (1) deepen your understanding of what it’s like to be in Israel under attack and (2) increase your individual and communal dialogue skills when people of good will hold sharply differing views.

A Guide to Talking About Israel in Your Congregation

Recognizing that communal dialogue about Israel is often challenging, this guide aims to help congregations facilitate open and honest conversations about Israel. The guide addresses the kinds of issues and concerns that make these conversations challenging and provides suggestions for how to overcome some of these issues.

Type: Community Discussion Guide

Zionism And Communal Covenant: A Reconstructionist Approach To Essential Jewish Principals

In 2004, the JRF Israel Policies Task Force issued a report calling for a recommitment to Zionism. This excerpt from that report explores Kaplan's definition of "New Zionism." It also discusses how a communal covenant could strengthen the relationships among the Reconstructionist community, Israel and the broader Jewish community.
Type: Policy

Three Alternative Versions of the Prayer for the State of Israel

Jewish communities, in Israel and abroad, pray for the State of Israel, peace in the Middle East, a stable government that will keep its citizens safe, a flourishing economy and more. It is customary to add a prayer for Israel at the end of the Shaharit (morning) service. These three versions reflect the range of hopes that communities have for Israel.

Type: Ritual