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The Kehilla Trip to Israel/Palestine?

by Rabbi David J. Cooper

For well more than a decade there has been some discussion about a trip to Israel/Palestine that could uniquely reflect Kehilla’s values and the variety of attitudes in our congregation about that zone. I believe that the time has come if belatedly, but in the words of Bertolt Brecht, “For you whose time has already come, it is never too late.”

To organize such a trip will require a committee dedicated to making it happen. The Kehilla Middle East Peace Committee agrees, but the trip committee will be an ad-hoc group that is not the MEPC but functions with the MEPC’s help and/or guidance.

The MEPC submits that such a trip should be reflective of the Kehilla Statement of Values on Israel/Palestine. I believe that this is a fascinating framework. Such a trip would spend time on both sides of the “greenline” that theoretically separates Israel from the West Bank. In the Israeli area we would have the opportunity to learn about Jewish roots there and about current Israeli culture especially on its progressive aspects. People in Kehilla are especially concerned about the occupation about our responsibilities in support for the resistance against it.

I and several other folks in Kehilla have especially good connections with leading dissenting Israeli activists and folks involved in Renewalist spirituality. We also have on-going connections in the West Bank and in Israel with nonviolent movements of resistance to the occupation.

The thought is that we should aim for a trip sometime in 2020. To make that a reality means that we should get going ASAP. We have many issues to deal with and obstacles to overcome.

Interested in being part of the planning this? Contact Rabbi David at

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