Israel Engagement & Social Justice

The Committee for Israel Engagement and Social Justice (CIESJ) formed in 2023 with the mission to encourage the temple community to support Israel and preserve Israel’s heritage as a Jewish state that reflects liberal democratic values, including the rights of minorities, religious pluralism, and an end to the occupation of Palestinian land. The current Israeli government represents an existential threat to those values. The Committee is working with other congregations, the URJ/ARZA, and other national organizations to defend Israel’s foundational values.

Diamondstein Israel
Israel Group
Fred Reiner Israel

CIESJ is supporting ongoing protests in the region against the Israeli government’s actions, including one held Sunday, March 26, 2023 that included 30 temple members, Rabbi Diamondstein, who spoke and led patriotic singing, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, shown with Rabbi Reiner (right photo above). Rabbi Diamondstein’s moving remarks can be found here.

Upcoming Events

  • Israel Shabbat
    Friday, April 28 at 6:30 pm

    Join us for Shabbat services commemorating Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding.  Jeremy Ben-Ami, CEO of J Street and Temple Sinai member, will discuss with Rabbi Roos the challenges to Israel’s founding principles posed by the current government, which is threatening Israel’s liberal democratic institutions, the rights of women and minorities, equal status of Reform Judaism, and is moving toward full annexation of Palestinian land in the occupied territories.  An oneg will follow services.

    Livestream Details
  • Ali Abu Awwad And The Taghyeer Movement: Palestinian Nonviolent Action To Meet Today’s Crisis In Israel-Palestine In Conversation With Adina Vogel-Ayalon, Chief Of Staff, J Street
    Wednesday, May 3 at 7:00 pm

    Palestinian nonviolent resistance activist Ali Abu Awwad co-founded Taghyeer (Change) Palestinian National Nonviolence Movement in 2016 to address the needs for social change while building a national nonviolent movement for freedom and human rights. Ali will discuss his personal story, learning nonviolence as a prisoner in the First Infitada, losing his brother in the Second Infitada, joining with his family in hosting grieving Israeli families, and then beginning a 20-year journey of nonviolent leadership. Ali will speak about Taghyeer’s grassroots activism, including its current focus on Masafer Yatta, and the need for Palestinians to take agency for their self-development to build coalitions for social change and resist the occupation. He will discuss this movement in the context of the rising authoritarianism, political deterioration, responses by Israelis and Palestinians, and the importance of the international connection to Palestinian aspirations and voices to create an environment for resolving the conflict.

    Ali’s life and work has been featured in two award-winning films, Encounter Point and Forbidden Childhood. Ali is the author of the forthcoming book, A Palestinian Manifesto: The Nonviolent Path to Freedom.

    Adina Vogel-Ayalon joined J Street in 2015 as the Deputy Israel Director at J Street and in 2020, she served as J Street’s Israel Director before taking on the role of Chief of Staff in 2021. Prior to J Street, Adina worked at the Shimon Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in the Development and External Relations Department, where she gained extensive experience in developing and initiating Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people, peacebuilding programs.

    A reception will follow the program.

    This is an in-person only event. Registration is required.


Contact Us

Robert Snyder, chair

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