HaTikva slate for the World Zionist Conference

Editor’s Note: When I received a phone call from my cousin Larry Lerner whom I deeply esteem asking me to be part of the slate of HaTikvah for the World Zionist Conference in Jerusalem, I had to decline. Though I am pro-Israel and brought my son to high school in Israel and supported him by living in Israel while he was serving in the IDF, I am equally pro-Palestine and have never described myself as a Zionist, so how could I become a delegate to this convention? Moreover, upon reading their platform, I know that I’ve been a strong critic of the Israeli Labor Party and its failure to attempt to educate Israelis about what kind of a peace settlement would actually work, much less endorsed anything like the one I’ve proposed in my book Embracing Israel/Palestine (which you can order at www.tikkun.org/eip). I am particularly unhappy with all those Jewish organizations which oppose the Occupation of the West Bank solely on “Jewish self-interest” grounds without ever really addressing the ethical issues involved in that Occupation causing so much pain and violence to the Palestinian people.  When the Torah commands us to “love the stranger” and “do not oppress the stranger,” it must be read today as applying to the Palestinian people—and Meretz and the Labor Party should say that clearly in their platform. Nor could I sign on to a platform that summarily opposes the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement. I reject a general boycott of Israel and I am aware that when talking about their demand of “ending the Occupation” some activists in the international BDS movement believe that “the Occupation” started with the creation of the State of Israel and hence aim at ending its existence. On the other hand, I do support BDS in regard to the Occupation of the West Bank, and favor using that tactic against any products produced in the Settlements or any firm that produces goods or services that are used primarily to support the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza (e.g. Caterpillar). So when groups or political activists fail to distinguish between those two different positions, I have a problem. I have trouble joining the BDS movement on the one hand, and trouble joining the opposition to the BDS movement on the other hand. Nuance may not work well when trying to build a large-scale movement, but it is critical for those of us who approach Israel/Palestine with an ethical, spiritual, and/or religious commitment to the well-being of everyone on the planet, not just Jews. This position would make most sense to you if you read my book Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation (though the actual “Jewish Renewal” movement to which I belong is far less clear on these issues than I had hoped it would be).

Nevertheless, I do believe if you, dear reader, happen to be a Jew who does identify as a Zionist, I think it plausible that support for the HaTikvah group described below would be a very good thing to do at this point. In the context of Israeli politics, they are as good for Israel as the left wing of the Democratic Party is good for the U.S. So I hope those of you who do identify as Zionists will actually vote in the election. I have great respect for many of the people on this slate, many of them among the most principled people in the organized part of the  American Jewish community,  and I believe that they will introduce important peace-and-justice-oriented ideas into the discourse of the World Zionist Conference should they be elected.

We never endorse candidates for office in US elections, but we can certainly pass on this letter from my cousin Larry Lerner to you addressing an election not to a public office but to an international organization. Please read it.–  Rabbi Michael Lerner

From Larry Lerner:

Dear Tikkunistas,

 

Hannah Lerner and I (granddaughter and grandfather) are delegates on the HaTikvah = Hope  slate running as possible delegates to the World Zionist Conference in Jerusalem in 2015.  We strongly urge you to register and vote for the HaTikvah = Hope slate at www.myvoteourisrael.com. Any American Jew who identifies him/ her self as a Jew and is over 18 years of age can and is encouraged to vote.

The Platform of the slate is attached.  The slate is a strong supporter of a secure peaceful two State solution to the Palestine-Israeli conflict. The slate also supports an end to the discrimination against the non-Orthodox Jewish religious streams in Israel.  The 72 (four chai) delegates on the slate are equally men and women and one out of every four is under the age of 30.  The delegates (organizational mention is for information only and is not an endorsement of the organization) are not listed with information on the official slate because the right wing Zionist Organization of America and others did not want voters to know who were the delegates.  Below are some of the important delegates on the HATIKVAH = HOPE SLATE.

 

 

Theodore Bickel – folk singer, stage and movie star, and civil rights activist

Debra DeLee – President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now

Benjy Cannon, – President of J Street U.

Ken Bob -  President, Ameinu

Randi Weingarten – President, American Federation of Teachers

Daniel Sokatch – CEO, New Israel Fund

Rabbi Kevin Bernstein – Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Israel S. (Si) Dresner – Reform Rabbi, Freedom Rider, Civil Rights activist

Rachel Lerner – Senior Vice President, J Street

Sam Norich – Publisher and CEO, Forward

 

This is an important election, all of the Progressive Zionists are united behind the slate.  We need your vote and the vote of your family and friends to show that there is support for the HATIKVAH=HOPE platform.  Remember to go to www.myvoteourisrael.com.

 

Shalom,

 

Larry Lerner

President, Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union (UCSJ)

Former President, Partners for a Progressive Israel

Lilerner3215@gmail.com

 

 

 


HATIKVA=THE HOPE

 

We are the hope

We are the PROGRESSIVE ZIONIST SLATE

We are committed to transforming the State of Israel into the dream of a just and thriving democratic Jewish state

 

Our platform is not platitude. We are rooted in a shared vision of:

            LASTING PEACE and a NEGOTIATED TWO STATE SOLUTION

Freeze settlement activity prior to “end of conflict” resolution

Reach strong security provisions for all parties

Recognize the current regional reality and encourage the development of new alliances

 

            ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

Create a robust social safety net

Provide opportunities of employment for all who are capable

End the oligopoly/plutocracy that has held back economic progress from too many

Ensure world-class education for all sectors of Israeli society

 In Israel we call for:

 

                 Social justice and protection of democratic rights for all of Israel’s citizens

Environmental sustainability

Protect the right for women to be seen and heard in public

Recognition of all religious streams

Refugee reform

Around the world we work to:


             Combat the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement

Strengthen Jewish peoplehood

Defend budgets for youth movement shlichim

Support financial backing for gap year programs in Israel

Promote long term Israeli programs for youth and adults 

 

We are aligned with the values and policies of the Israel Labor Party and Meretz,
as well as other like-minded peace and democracy Israeli activists.

 

Together with our partners around the world, we are the OPPOSITION to the status quo which wants to manage the conflict instead of ending it.

Ameinu –Habonim Dror—Partners for a Progressive Israel—Hashomer Hatzair

 

Theodore Bikel

Board Chair, Partners for Progressive Israel; Actor, Singer, Activist

Debra DeLee

President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now

Benjy Cannon

President, J Street U

Sara Zebovitz

National Director, Habonim Dror North America

Kenneth Bob

President, Ameinu

Randi Weingarten

President, American Federation of Teachers

Daniel Sokatch

CEO, New Israel Fund

Valerie Miller

National Director, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Harold Shapiro

Co-President, Partners for Progressive Israel

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Founding Rabbi, IKAR (Los Angeles, CA)

Judith Gelman

Executive Committee Chair, Ameinu

Rabbi Kevin Bernstein

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rachel Lerner

Senior Vice President, J Street

David Meyer

Treasurer, Habonim Dror North America; Past Director, Habonim Dror Camp Moshava

Lilly Rivlin

Former President, Partners for Progressive Israel; Filmmaker

Gideon Aronoff

CEO, Ameinu

Rachel Sandalow-Ash

Co-Founder, Open Hillel

Daniel Fleshler

Board Member, Ameinu

Haya Laufer

Board Member, Ameinu; Biologist

Michael Walzer

Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ)

Adina Teibloom

Educator, Habonim Dror

Theodore Friedman

Board Member, Ameinu

Rabbi Esther Lederman

Temple Micah (Washington, DC)

Hiam Simon

COO, Ameinu; Board Member, Habonim Dror Camp Na’aleh

Hannah Lerner

Student, University of North Carolina

Sam Norich

Publisher and CEO, Forward

Rabbi Leila Gal Brener

Kol Ami (Arlington, VA); Dean of Students, ALEPH Ordination Program

Lonny Moses

Educator, Habonim Dror

Liz Bar-El

Board Chair, Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa

Larry Lerner

President, Union of Councils for Jews in the FSU

Jennie Schaefer

Educational Director, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Rabbi Sid Schwarz

Senior Fellow, Clal; Founding Rabbi, Adat Shalom (Bethesda, MD)

Rabbi Amy Eilberg

First Ordained Female Conservative Rabbi; Author, Peace Educator

Zach Pekarsky

Education Director, Habonim Dror North America

Alisa Belinkoff-Katz

Board Member, Ameinu

Ralph Seliger

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Efrat Levy

Board Chair, Hashomer Hatzair United States; Professor, Empire State College

Dekel Merin

Past Director, Habonim Dror Camp Moshava

Judy Wall

Co-President, Partners for Progressive Israel

Arieh Lebowitz

Associate Director, Jewish Labor Committee

Adi Dzen

Educator, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Martin Bresler

Board Member, Americans for Peace Now

Julie Macht

Board Member, Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa

Amit Bob

Educator, Habonim Dror

Nomi Colton-Max

President, Beth El Congregation (South Orange, NJ)

Leonard Grob

Professor Emeritus, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Carolyn Amacher

Board Member, Ameinu

Gilad Abarbanel

Regional Director, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Phyllis Bernstein

Board Member, MetroWest Federation

Leonid Stonov

Union of Councils for Jews in the FSU

Ilana DeBare

Alum, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Ethan Goldstein

Habonim Dror Camp Miriam

Rabbi Chava Koster

Village Temple

Mark Gold

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Rachel Glaser

Habonim Dror Camp Moshava

Noah Finkelstein

Program Director, Habonim Dror North America; Habonim Dror Camp Miriam

Steve Weinberg

Executive Director, Habonim Dror Camp Association

Dina Charnin

Vice President, Partners for Progressive Israel

Rabbi Israel S.Dresner

Former President, Partners for Progressive Isael; Civil Rights Activist

Ella Schwarzbaum

Educator, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Naomi Jatovsky

Ameinu San Francisco

Rabbi Gerald Serotta

Executive Director, InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington

Fay Rosenfeld

COO Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute

Bekah Diamond-Bier

Educator, Habonim Dror

Brad Rothschild

Chair, Ameinu Policy and Advocacy Committee

Barbara Epstein

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Yoni Shultz

Board Member, Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa

Colin Paluch

Educator, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Ben Meiselman

Board Member, Ameinu

Martin Taft

Board Member, Ameinu

Dana Mandler

Board Member and Former Director, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Joel Winograd

Chair, Habonim Dror Camp Association;

Habonim Dror Camp Tavor

Maya Haber

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Michael Goldman

Habonim Dror Camp Moshava; Doctor

Mira Shore

Habonim Dror Camp Galil

Yudie Fishman

Chair, Habonim Dror Foundation

Deborah Dash Moore

Professor, University of Michigan

Ariel Simon

Ameinu New York

Karen Paul-Stern

Washington Regional Director and Director of Israel Travel, New Israel Fund

Elihu Davison

Jewish Labor Committee

Carole Zawatsky

CEO, Washington DC Jewish Community Center

Idan Sasson

Former Director, Hashomer Hatzair United States

Ethel Taft

Ameinu Los Angeles

Chad Goldberg

Professor, University of Wisconson-Madison

Miriam Eisenstein

Lawyer, U.S. Department of Education, retired

Doniel Simon

Ameinu New York

Merle Wolofsky

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Andrew Taylor

Treasurer, Ameinu

Karen Shapiro

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Ezra Salop

Owner and Caterer, Innerloop Cuisine; Food Activist

Evelyn Gelman

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

Rabbi Emeritus, Kehilat Israel

David Dormont

Board Member, Partners for Progressive Israel

 

Former President, Partners for a Progressive Israel

Lilerner3215@gmail.com

 

 

 

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun, co-chair with Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. He is the author of eleven books, including two national bestsellers—The Left Hand of God and Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation. His most recent book, Embracing Israel/Palestine, is available on Kindle from Amazon.com and in hard copy from tikkun.org/eip. He welcomes your responses and invites you to join with him by joining the Network of Spiritual Progressives (membership comes with a subscription to Tikkun magazine). You can contact him at rabbilerner.tikkun@gmail.com.
 
tags: Israel/Palestine   
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