Klal Yisrael is the sense of community amongst the world’s Jews. CRS’s Israel Committee has been dedicated to strengthening our Congregation’s understanding of and relationship with Israel. Through congregational trips, Shabbat dinners, speakers, films, special events, participation in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade, and voting in the World Zionist Congress elections, there is a strong bond built. A major Committee endeavor is the support of organizations in Israel. We not only strengthen them and our relationship with them but more importantly, we contribute to the overall strengthening of Jewish life and, in particular, Reform Jewish life in Israel.
The Israel Committee chooses two organizations or projects in Israel to receive donations from the CRS community, one within the Reform movement in Israel and one more broadly focused. Each year, the selection process alternates so that, in effect, each project receives two years of support. In addition to being asked to contribute, congregants are invited to participate in the process.
The Israel Committee convenes every other month from September – May to plan programs and move through our grant process. All congregants are invited to join us!
Support Israel Mitzvah Projects
Learn more about the Israel Mitzvah Project fund under the Voluntary Dues tab on the Funds page.
To donate to the Israel Committee’s philanthropic projects, please click here.
To choose the Fund, select ‘Other’ and then type in ‘Israel Mitzvah Projects’ and insert your contribution amount in the next box.
CRS & RSS Joint Statement
- Resources for Understanding the Current Israeli Palestinian Crisis
- “We Hold All of These Truths” by Rabbi Rick Jacobs
- A video message from Rabbi Rick Jacobs from the Union for Reform Judaism
- “A Prayer for Peace” by Rabbi Josh Weinberg
- “Choosing Vision Over Victimhood” by Rabbi Marc J. Rosenstein
- May 2021: Exploring the Current Israeli-Palestinian Crisis:
- From Jerusalem to Gaza: The Unfolding Israeli-Palestinian Crisis:
- Can I be a Liberal and a Zionist? A Three-Part Series
- The bad optics of fighting for your life by Bari Weiss
- Jerusalem of glue by Matti Friedman
- For the sake of peace, Israel must rout Hamas by Bret Stephens
- Hen Mazzig Instagram Slideshow
- Almost Noting You’ve Heard About Evictions is True by Eugene Kontorovich
- Flashack: Former Associated Press Writer Explains How Outlet Helps Hamas Create Anti-Israel Narratives
- Facts Matter – Even in Israel (Sheik Jarrah) by Mark Goldfeder
- The War You Aren’t Seeing: A Clear-Sighted View by Daniel Pomerantz
- Taking the Call in Gaza Before Israel Takes Out the Building by Dan Williams
- 3-page Memo: Understanding the current situation in Gaza
- 2-page Memo: Hamas using Palestinians as human shields
- Issue Brief: Who is Hamas?
- I Worked On the Abraham Accords. It’s Time to Free the Palestinians From Hamas – and Iran
- The Debunking of the “Apartheid State” Lie by Jonathan Tobin
- Moderates Know How to Unify Israel by Gil Troy
- Rep. Ritchie Torres talk Israel on “Real Time” with Bill Maher
Dr. Brandon Friedman’s Reading List
Senior Research Fellow and the Director of Research at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.
1) Background on the Sheikh Jarrah dispute:
2) The background to the escalation in April-May, before the war:
(This piece takes the timeline for recent events back further in time)
3) A short educational video on the importance of the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa to both Jews and Muslims:
4) Short videos on Israeli efforts to limit collateral damage during strikes on Hamas in Gaza:
(A building owner in Gaza talking to Israeli officials about evacuating his occupants before a pending strike)
(clip of an interview with the recently replaced director of UNRWA in Gaza)
4) Background on Qatari money and Hamas:
5) A strategic framework for the Palestinian issue (this represents a centrist Israeli plan in the absence of a settlement to the conflict)
6) The state of the Palestinian national movement:
7) Israeli public opinion about the recent war:
8) Categories of commentary:
- Advocacy/Activism (one-sided)
- Punditry (lacks historical knowledge and therefore vulnerable to manipulation)
- Political Analysis (handicapped by real-time sources)
- History (benefits from a corpus of sources and historical perspective)
9) Israeli political analysts/journalists/publications to follow in English:
- Avi Issacharoff
- Anshel Pfeffer
- Haviv Rettig Gur
- Lahav Harkov
- Dalia Scheindlin
- Haaretz (Left)
- Times of Israel (Centrist)
- Jerusalem Post (Center-Right)
- The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University dayan.org
- Bayan – quarterly on Arabs in Israel – https://dayan.org/journal/bayan-arabs-israel
- Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) inss.org.il
- Israel Democracy Institute – en.idi.org.il
- Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies – https://mitvim.org.il/en/
10) Authoritative histories of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Israelis that were written for a general audience:
- Itamar Rabinovich, The Lingering Conflict: Israel, Arabs, and the Middle East (Brookings Institution Press, 2012).
- Asher Susser, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine: The Two-State Imperative (Brandeis University Press, 2011).
- Colin Shindler, A History of Modern Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 2013). (Not a history by an Israeli, but a balanced, accessible, and serious work).
- Micah Goodman, Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War (Yale University Press, 2018), translated by Eylon Levy. (This is not a typical history by a historian, but a compelling reflection on Israeli society and the conflict.)
11) An interview with Naftali Bennett:
12) The new Pew Report on American Jewry (this is what Israelis are discussing):
“Jewish Americans in 2020,” Pew Research Center, May 11, 2021.
13) Elie Podeh, Chances for Peace: Missed Opportunities in the Arab Israeli Conflict (University of Texas Press, 2015).
Prayers for Israel
Looking towards the High Holy Days, we are pleased to share with you the following video of the Prayer for the State of Israel, from Miskhan Hanefesh page 274 for your services this year, read by two recent Leo Baeck High School graduates:
Mika Mazor, from Haifa (mixed Arab-Jewish city)
Mullan Nasseraldeen, from Daliyat el-Karmel, a Druze town