Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location:  Show map JCC East Bay, Berkeley Branch 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709
Contact: Lehrhaus JudaicaPhone: (510) 845-6420Email: info@lehrhaus.org

Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship

A Hartman Institute Study Series at the JCC East Bay
Led by Ron H. Feldman (JCC East Bay) and Peretz Wolf-Prusan (Lehrhaus Judaica)

Wednesdays | Jan. 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar. 5, 12, 19 | 7:00–9:00 pm

Cost including materials
: $75 for 
JCC East Bay members, $90 general

Enroll online here.  

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Going deeper than the political issues of the day, Engaging Israel re-frames the discussion about the enduring significance of the State of Israel for contemporary Jews worldwide. Advocacy programs alone — based on dire facts and figures about the precariousness of Jewish survival — often fail to engender a substantive connection for an increasing number of Jews, who see Israel’s impressive military and economic vitality and are unconvinced that it is a weak country that desperately needs help from world Jewry. At the same time, the political, economic, and cultural success of North American Jewry has diminished the compelling nature of the post-Holocaust survival narrative. The Engaging Israel course elevates the North American conversation about Israel by rooting it in Jewish values and ideas rather than in a response to crisis. We will explore questions such as:

What are the benefits of Jewish sovereignty?

How should a Jewish state exercise military power ethically?

How do we create and maintain a Jewish democracy?

Why should American Jews care about Israel?

What values should a Jewish state embody? 

Each in-person discussion session led by our faculty includes text study plus a video lecture with Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman and other top scholars. Join us for this wonderful opportunity to learn from great scholars and from one another as we engage in thinking about the meaning that Israel can have in our lives and what our role might be in envisioning and building the future of the Jewish State. 

About the Instructors: 

Ron H. Feldman, Ph.D., has edited two important collections of Hannah Arendt's essays on Jewish subjects: The Jew as Parish: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age, published by Grove Press in 1978; and The Jewish Writings, an expanded collection published by Schocken in 2007. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union, and works at the JCC East Bay.    


Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan is the Senior Educator of Lehrhaus JudaicaFrom 1975 to 1985 he was actively involved in informal education (UAHC Camp Swig) and in the creation of Jewish scribal art (ketubbot and posters). From 1985 to 1990 he attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, receiving his MAHL and Rabbinic Ordination. From 1990 to 2010 he served Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco as Rabbi and Educator, and in 2002, he was awarded the Covenant Award as “An Exceptional Jewish Educator who has had a significant impart on others, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the transmission of Jewish knowledge, values, and identity.” At Lehrhaus since 2010, he is engaged in community education for the Bay Area, focusing on conferences, retreats, tours, the Bay Area Community Talmud Circle, and Heschel’s Playlist.  



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