Learning To Respect One Another

by: Rachael Sauceda

On Tuesday April 9th, members of ICCI’s alumni community of young Palestinians and Jews for Peace Coexistence held a discussion with a group of about 20 American Jews from the Boston area, who were on a study tour with led by Rabbi Howard Berman, Executive Director of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism and rabbi of Central Reform Temple of Boston. This discussion gave the group, who were mainly from Boston and the surrounding area, a unique view as to what it is like for people living and growing up in a culturally diverse city like Jerusalem during a time of conflict. The young adult alumni, from various ICCI young adult dialogue programs, talked about their experiences, the obstacles they overcame, and how they learned to respect and listen to “the other.”

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“Love the Stranger as Yourself”

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

“The opening passages from the section in the Book of Leviticus known as the Holiness Code — Parashat K’doshim, which we will read in our synagogues this Saturday in Israel — begin with the words “You shall be holy” (Leviticus 19:2), and goes on to teach us in a very practical way what it means to be “holy.” These are undoubtedly among the most famous and most relevant passages in the Torah, and indeed, in all of world religions.

The organization I represent, the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, has partnered with the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department in Toronto in publishing a poster which portrays the “Love your neighbor as yourself” statement as a major theme in no less than 12 of the world’s major religions!

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“Celebrating Israeli Independence Day”

by Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

” The modern State of Israel was brought into being after more than 60 years of dreaming and struggle by the leaders of the Zionist Movement — the national liberation movement of the Jewish People — that began in Europe at the end of the 19th century and led to our Declaration of Independence, which was proclaimed by David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948.

We will celebrate Israel’s Independence next Monday night and all day Tuesday in Israel as a national and religious holiday. For many of us, it is “the beginning of the flowering of our redemption” (as stated in one of the versions of the prayer for the state of Israel recited every Shabbat in synagogues in Israel and throughout the world). It is preceded by Memorial Day, a very solemn day in our country on which thousands of people visit cemeteries all over the country to remember those who sacrificed their lives so that this independent Jewish state could be free and prosper.

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“Envisioning Israel Based on Freedom, Justice and Peace for All”

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

“we will celebrate Israel’s Independence Monday night and all day Tuesday this week in Israel as a national and religious holiday. For many of us, it is “the beginning of the flowering of our redemption” (as stated in one of the versions of the prayer for the state of Israel recited every Shabbat in synagogues in Israel and throughout the world). This prayer has become the center of controversy in recent years. Radical right-wing Jews in extremists settlements have ceased saying this prayer ever since the disengagement from Gaza in August 2005. And some followers of Professor Yeshaiyahu Leibowitz, do not say the prayer because they do not think that nation-states are holy. And of course many ultra-orthodox Jews don’t say it because they are anti-Zionist and do not see the need for a state of the Jews! Nevertheless, most religious Jews in Israel –including Reform and Conservative Jews –say this prayer, or one similar to it, in gratitude for the miracle of returning home after 2000 years.”

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“On ‘loving thy neighbors’ only if they’re Jewish”

Dr. Ron Kronish, The Times of Israel

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

“A few weeks ago, I led a text study session at the first meeting of a new dialogue group of Jews and Muslims that I now co-lead with my friend and colleague, Kadi Iyad Zahalka, in a school in his village of Kufr Kara, in central Israel. Our new group brings together Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, educators, writers, academics and community leaders.

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“The Value of Light in Dark Moments”

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

“Last night, I participated in a solidarity visit to the home of Suhad Abu Zmiro, a wonderful young Israeli Arab woman, who was attacked by Jewish youngsters in early March in a hate crime attack in a Jewish

neighborhood of Jerusalem. This incident, which was widely publicized, led to much outrage among much of the mainstream Jewish population of Israel.

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Tolerance Campaign Workshop With F2F Graduates!

While working on the campaign I had the opportunity to work with friends from different backgrounds and cultures for the same shared goal. True, I had already known all the members of this team, but this was an opportunity to see them work on one clear goal, and it showed us new sides of one another! (Atar Cahana, F2F 2012 Alumnus)

While working on the campaign I had the opportunity to work with friends from different backgrounds and cultures for the same shared goal. True, I had already known all the members of this team, but this was an opportunity to see them work on one clear goal, and it showed us new sides of one another! (Atar Cahana, F2F 2012 Alumnus)

By: Shaked Einsenmann, F2F Graduate

Between January and March 2013, I and other F2F alumni participated in a tolerance campaign project held by Mediterranean Youth Technology Club (MYTecC) in cooperation with the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI).

It was very nice to work together in a mixed group. We had fun creating something that revolved around what we learned in F2F. We were excited when we got to present our story to a large audience and felt great pride when we saw how much people appreciated our work!

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