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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace


Chicago, Illinois

Who We Are
To add your name to our Chicago chapter mailing list and for more information about our activities and committees, please email us.

Michael Peshkin
Susan Satter

Rabbi Herbert Bronstein, Emeritus, North Shore Congregation Israel
Cantor Michael Davis, Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism
Rabbi Bruce Elder, Congregation Hakafah
Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr., Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation
Rabbi Suzanne Griffel
Rabbi Andrea London, Beth Emet - the Free Synagogue of Evanston
Rabbi Robert Marx, Emeritus, Congregation Hakafah
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation of Evanston
Rabbi Michael P. Sternfield, Chicago Sinai Congregation

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 29, 2009
7:30 PM
Temple Sholom, 3840 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, J Street and the New Israel Fund invite you to attend "Charting a New Direction Middle East Peace Prospects & U.S.-Israel Relations in the Obama Era," a talk by Ami Ayalon. For more information please email us.

Past Events


Wednesday May 27, 2009
7:30 PM
303 Dodge, Evanston

Please come to a chapter meeting an update about what's going on diplomatically, and how our congresspeople are responding,  A synopsis of a new outreach program "Israeli Voices",will be presented by Chicago member Ariela Lazar, which we'd like to present at more synagogues. We will also update you on the new Brit Tzedek campaign, "We've Got your Back, Mr. President." For more information please contact us by email

Monday, May 18, 2009

7 pm
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
303 Dodge Ave, Evanston

In honor of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), JRC, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and
Americans for Peace Now invite you to join Amos Gil, Founding Executive Director of
Ir Amim, for an evening of film, discussion and learning about Jerusalem and her
various populations.

Thursday, May 14, 2009
Emanuel Congregation
5959 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago

Israeli policy analyst Daniel Levy will speak on "What Hope for Israeli-Arab Peace?  What Role for the U.S.?"  Daniel Levy is the director of the Middle East Task Force at the New American Foundation and a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation.  The event is sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, and co-sponsored by Emanuel Congregation, Beth Emet the Free Synagogue, and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

4:00 p.m
Chicago Temple Building
77 West Washington Street

We have a limited number of tickets to a unique performance of "Pangs of the Messiah" : the play, followed by hors d’oeuvres, and conversation with the playwright, Motti Lerner, and Silk Road’s Artistic Director, Jamil Khoury.  You are invited jointly by Jewish Reconstructionist Federation and Brit Tzedek. For tickets, pricing, and other information please contact Dan Cedarbaum (of Jewish Reconstructionist Federation) by email or by phone 847-492-5200. For more information please contact us by email.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Century Theater
Evanston, IL

The Chicago Chapter would like to invite you to a 3PM showing of Waltz with Bashir at the Century Theater in Evanston. The film will be followed by a  5PM by aBrit Tzedek discussion/meeting nearby. For more information contact us by email.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
303 Dodge Avenue
Evanston, IL

“Seek Peace and Pursue It" (Psalms 3:14). A Jewish Community Dialogue on the Gaza Crisis. With speakers Rabbi Andrea London, of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Israeli peace activist Avner Inbar, Aliza Becker, Deputy Director of Brit Tzdek v'Shalom and Rabbi Brant Rosen, of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation.

For more information contact us by email.

Sunday, November 23

7:00 PM
Chicago Event with Brian Klug
At the home near Montrose and Western

Founder of Independent Jewish Voices in Britain, and co-editor of the just-published "A time to Speak Out, Independent Jewish Voices on Israel, Zionism, and Jewish Identity". Brian's last visit with Chicago Brit Tzedek members was provocative and fascinating.

Write to to RSVP or for more information. Address will be provided to respondents.

August 24, 2008

Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph

The Chicago Brit Tzedek chapter is co-sponsoring two post-performance discussions of
Israel-related plays on Sunday, August 24. Brit Tzedek members Laurie Kahn and Jan
Yourist will help lead post-performance discussions on Masked and To Pay the Price.
For group tickets and optional shmoozing, contact Jan Yourist at:


Sunday, June 15
11AM to 6PM
The Greater Chicago Jewish Folk Arts Festival at the Cook County Forest Preserve in Morton Grove. (See for more information.)

This unique festival held every two years, draws Jews together from every walk of life from ultra-Orthodox to secular hipster. There will musical entertainment, dance groups, theater groups and storytellers as well as an arts and crafts fair and book fair.

We would like to invite you to volunteer at our table for a one or two- hour shift. It’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded supporters and communicate our message to the diverse individuals attending the festival. Please contact Michael Peshkin for more information.

If you cannot volunteer, please consider dropping by the table and introducing yourself. We will have Brit Tzedek literature, buttons, and special treats. We encourage you to pick up a button and wear it throughout the festival.

We hope to see you soon.

Sunday, May 18
7:00 PM
Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue
3030 Dodge Avenue, Evanston
(847) 328-7678

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation invite
you to a dialogue on:

“The Lemon Tree, Open House and Jewish-Arab Coexistence, Speakers:  Author Sandy Tolan and JRC Rabbi Brant Rosen”

For more information, please contact Dina April. JRC Director of Programming
and Adult Education  at 847-328-7678 or

Friday, May 2
B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom
1424 183rd Street
Homewood, IL

Three children of abraham lead a trialogue about a two-state solution.

This special Shabbat is part of our community’s reflections on the occasion of Israel’s 60th birthday. Our three panelists include Aliza Becker, Deputy Director of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace; Ray Hanania, Co-founder of the Israel-Palestinian Comedy Tour; and Saffiya Shillo, a peace activist, communications specialist and community editor for the National Arab American Times.

For additional information, please e-mail Brian Zakem.

Sunday, April 13
11am to 12:30pm
Emanuel Congregation
5959 N. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660

American-Middle Eastern Women: The Jewish American/Palestinian American
Experience and the Quest for Peace

Meet Saffiya Shillo and Aliza Becker and share their personal stories as Palestinian and Jewish Americans, raised in the Midwest.  Saffiya and Aliza, who have family in the West Bank and in Israel, will discuss their experiences in America and the Middle East, their struggles around assimilation and identify, their eventual path to peace advocacy in their communities, and their vision for the future.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 7pm
Chicago (near Lawrence and Rockwell)
The Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom invites you to a dialogue with Brian Klug whose writings on Israel and anti-semitism have been widely discussed by Jews worldwide.

Brian Klug will share reflections on Israel and Jewish identity and provide an update on Independent Jewish Voices (, an organization he recently co-founded.   A longtime supporter of Brit Tzedek, Brian has requested a dialogue with our members
Vegetarian Middle Eastern appetizers will be served

Please RSVP in advance to for site information

Saturday, March 8, 7:00pm

An evening with
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston

For more information, email or (312) 341-1205

Sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation.

See Photos and Audio from the event

Sunday, January 6, 7:00pm

Brit Tzedek member Danielle Strandburg-Peshkin will speak on her
experiences living in Israel and the West Bank at the Evanston home of Lynn Pollack and Mike Okrent.

Danielle, a current NYU student and Evanston native will describe and
reflect on her experiences and lead a  discussion of the human implications
of the situation.

While taking a semester abroad at Haifa University, Danielle traveled to
Ramallah and Abu Dis and began volunteering weekends with Palestinian school
children. She subsequently lived on the West Bank for six months where she
taught English in Palestinian schools, worked at community and international
organizations, and studied at Bir Zeit and Hebrew University. She returned
to the U.S. last week.

For RSVP and directions:, or call Lynn at 847

November 4, Sunday 3-4PM
Navy Pier, Chicago

Private tour of "Offering Reconciliation," with Robi Damelin and Ali Abu
Awad. This art exhibit includes 135 large-sized ceramic bowls, designed by
leading Israeli and Palestinian artists in support of the Parents Circle's
work and message of hope. View at The SOFA art exhibit at Navy Pier Chicago.

Includes free day pass to exhibit. Reservations are required. RSVP to or call (312) 341-1205 or for more information by
October 22. To see pictures of some of the bowls and for more information
about the exhibit and the on-line and live auction of the “Offering
Reconciliation” works of art go to
This program is co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Chicago Chapter, Jewish
Reconstructionist Synagogue of Evanston and Hands of Peace.

ALI ABU AWAD is a Palestinian resident of Beit Ummar, Hebron.

“After my brother’s death, and contrary to pressures from various groups and
individuals who came to express their condolences, I decided that revenging
my brother’s death would not ease my pain and would not bring him back. I
didn’t know what to do with the pain and there wasn’t an outlet for the
grief. The Forum is a means of helping yourself in addition to being a means
of resistance.”

ROBI DAMELIN is an Israeli resident of Tel Aviv.

“Since losing my son I have decided to devote my life to the work of The
Parents Circle. If the members of our group can reconcile and forgive, then
surely we can be an example to the rest of the world… we who have paid the
highest price for a war which should have ended long ago. ”.

Encounter Point Trailer featuring speakers:

For more information, contact

Ali Abu Awad and Robi Damelin of the Bereaved Families-Parents Circle ( will speak at three Chicago area events.

October 28, Sunday 10AM-12Noon
KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue
1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd
Chicago, IL

October 28, Sunday 7PM
Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism
1221 County Line Road
Highland Park, IL

Concert of Israeli music honoring the life of Yitzak Rabin on his 12th yahrzeit followed by Bereaved Families/Parents Circle presentation.

This program is sponsored by Lakeside and co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek
 v’Shalom, Chicago Chapter.

August 14, 2007
Combatants for Peace

10 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1800 (between Madison & Monroe 1/2 block west of Wacker)
Sponsors: Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and hosted by Charles Dobrusin
Luncheon with speakers from Combatants for Peace, Yonatan Gur and Riyad al Halees
RSVP to or (312) 341-1205 no later than Sunday, August 12. The lunch will be kosher and a vegetarian meal may be ordered in advance. The site is accessible. See bios of speakers and Combatants for Peace description below.

Combatants for Peace is a young organization made up of individuals who were involved in the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The Israelis served as combat soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinians were involved in acts of violence in the name of Palestinian liberation. They came to the realization that violence could not resolve the conflict and they have chosen non-violent means to work for peace between Israel and Palestine. Their stories are powerful and personal and well worth hearing.

Yonatan Gur was born in 1979 on a kibbutz in the western Galilee. At present, he is a third year history student at Tel Aviv University and works as a reporter for the Yedioth Aharonot newspaper and as a group moderator in non-formal education projects. During primary and high school, he was active as a group leader in youth movements and as a member of the Peace Now youth organization. After high school and a year of volunteer social service he was drafted by the Israel Defense Forces, eventually serving as a platoon commander in the armored corps. Yonatan joined Combatants for Peace in February 2006, and since then has been an active member of this movement.

Riyad al Halees was born in 1979 in Hebron, south of Jerusalem. He holds a BA degree in sociology from Bir Zeit University in Ramalla, where he now lives. Riyad was arrested several times and served time in Israeli prisons for participation in actions against the Israeli occupation. In 2003 Riyad was severely injured from shots fired by Israeli soldiers. His brother was killed in the incident. Following that event Riyad gradually realized that violence only leads to more violence and that a non-violent struggle is the only way to end the occupation and achieve peace. It was for the promotions of these ideas that Riyad joined CFP and has become one of its most
prominent members

Our calls made a difference. Senator Dick Durbin is now a cosponsor of the Feinstein-Lugar Resolution. This is an important step for him in moving towards a more pro-peace position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We encourage you to write a thank you note. For more information on the Resolution, see

July 23
Brit Tzedek member Kelsey Waxman returned from Brit Tzedek's Advocacy Days inspired to contribute to the CNN Presidential debates. Go to to see her videotaped question on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

May 6, 5:00pm,
At the home of board member Ivan Handler, A "Let's Talk" House Party. Send an e-mail here for more information.

May 13, 10:30am to 12 noon
Jihad Abu Zneid, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Fatah) and Women's Rights Advocate, will speak on, "A Palestinian Woman's Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" with Ivan Handler, National Board Member, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
At KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago. Off-street parking available in KAMII lot at 5039 S. Greenwood
For more information, contact KAMII at 773-924-1234. Co-sponsored by the KAMII Adult Education and Israel/World Affairs Committees and part of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom's "Let's Talk!" campaign.

May 14, 7:30pm
Jihad Abu Zneid, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Fatah) and Women's Rights Advocate, will speak on, "A Palestinian Woman's Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" With Ivan Handler, National Board Member of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom. At home of Lynn Pollack and Mike Okrent in Evanston. For more information, contact (312) 341-1205 or send an e-mail.
Co-sponsored by Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Peace Dialogue. For more information on Jihad Abu Zneid please click here.

Thursday, May 18, 7:00pm
Beth Emet Synagogue, 1124 Dempster, Evanston, IL
Brit Tzedek will screen "Children of Abraham" followed by a discussion with film director and certified Compassionate Listening facilitator Andrea S. Cohen. Send an e-mail here for more information.


Thursday, January 25
Combatants For Peace
The "COMBATANTS FOR PEACE" movement was started by Palestinians and Israelis who had taken part in the cycle of violence between the two peoples. After brandishing weapons for so many years, these former combatants decided to put down their guns and instead fight for peace. For more information on the Combatants for Peace Tour, including bios of the speakers and a description of Combatants for Peace, please visit our tour page.

12:00 noon
University of Chicago
Location: Tea Room on the 2nd floor of the Social Sciences Building (1126 E. 59th St)
Sponsor: Brit Tzedek V'Shalom: The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Co-sponsors: The University of Chicago Human Rights Program, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, The Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago, Rockefeller Chapel, and The American Task Force on Palestine. For more information, email or call (312) 341-1205

Beth Emet The Free Synagogue
1224 Dempster (at Ridge)
Sponsors: Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Co-sponsors: Beth Emet the Free Synagogue, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Congregation Hakafa, Lakeside Congregation North Shore Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice
For more information: (312) 341-1205 or email Aliza Becker

Friday, January 26, 2007
Combatants for Peace

DePaul University
Location: Student Center 220, 2250 N. Sheffield
Sponsored by: Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, DePaul University Peace, Conflict Resolution, and Social Justice Studies and The American Task Force on Palestine. For more information, contact Dr. Frida Kerner Furman by email or call (773) 325-4275
Click here to view the flier.

Burbank, IL
Beit Iksa Association Center (lower level), 6000 W. 79th Street
Sponsor: Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Co-sponsors: Palestinian American Women's Society, Beit Iksa Association, Lifta Association, Mosque Foundation Bridgeview, National Arab American Journalists Association, American Task Force on Palestine
For more information, contact Saffiya Shillo by email or Brit Tzedek national office at (312) 341-1205

♦  Check out the latest chapter newsletter to find out more.

Thursday, November 16, 7:00 PM
Dinner with Donna Spiegelman - Discussion on Activating Chicago Members & Support
Join chapter members for dinner with Donna Spiegelman, one of the founders of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, chair of the Boston Chapter, and chair of Brit Tzedek's Membership and Outreach Committee. At Siam Pasta, 7416 N. Western Ave., Chicago, (773) 274-0579. Please email us - - to RSVP.

Sunday, November 5, 5:00 PM
Dinner With Brit Tzedek Advocacy Leader Steve Masters
Join chapter members for dinner with Steve Masters, currently a national spokesperson and board member of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and also National Co-Chair of Advocacy. This is a good opportunity to ask any questions about Brit Tzedek policy, U.S. administration and congressional positions on the conflict, etc. We will meet at Max's Deli & Restaurant, 191 Skokie Valley Rd (just south of Lake Cook Rd. by Skokie Blvd in Crossroads Shopping Mall), Highland Park). Please RSVP to Aliza - - if you plan to join us for dinner.

Sunday, November 5, 7:00 PM
Peace Activist Stories with Steve Masters and Saffyia Shillo
A short memorial service for former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin followed by "Peace Activist Stories: An American Jew and Palestinian Share their Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Situation." A presentation by Steve Masters and Saffiya Shillo, Board Member, American Task Force on Palestine. Co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Chicago Chapter. At Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism, 1221 County Line Road, Highland Park, Illinois (one block east of the Lake Cook exit off Route 41). For instructions please click here.

August 28, 2006
Diane Balser Speaking Event: "Is Peace Possible?"
7:30 pm at Kam Isaiah Israel Congregation, 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd, Chicago. Brit Tzedek Executive Director Diane Balser gave a talk on "Is Peace Possible?" Immediately prior to the talk there will be a chapter dinner of Middle Eastern vegetarian food. Requested donation $8.

At the dinner meet the Brit Tzedek staff, including Diane Balser (outgoing ED); Diane Cantor (incoming ED); Carinne Luck, Director of Chapter and Grassroots Development; Rob Levy, Washington Representative. Also meet the Chicago-based staff.

June 18-20, 2006
Members of the Chicago Chapter traveled to Washington, DC to participate in Brit Tzedek's National Advocacy Days. Read the report on activities there.

May 18, 2006
COMPASSION MEETS CONFLICT: A FILM SCREENING OF CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM with film director and Certified Compassionate Listening facilitator Andrea S. Cohen. 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Beth Emet Synagogue, 1224 Dempster, Evanston. A facilitated dialogue utilizing Compassionate Listening practices will follow the viewing of the film. Children of Abraham is a documentary that chronicles the Compassionate Listening journey to Israel and Palestine of twenty-two courageous Jewish American leaders and professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. $5 donation. Co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Chicago Chapter and Beth Emet. For more information email us.

March 12, 2006
WHY THE ISRAELI ECONOMY REALLY DOES NEED PEACE 10:30 am - 12:00 noon, Congregation KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd, Chicago. Please join us for a public lecture by Dr. Bernard Avishai. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Event Co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Chicago Chapter and KAM. For more information, contact the Brit Tzedek office at (312) 341-1205 or the congregation at (773) 924-1234.

October 28 – December 27, 2005
OPENING OF THE HEART. An exhibit and learning experience.
Photos and personal narrative of Israelis and Palestinians affected by the conflict. At Gallery 37, 66 Randolph Street, Chicago. Opening of the Heart encourages us to see and hear the voices of people whose lives are filled with struggle for human survival. Through this experience, we may come to view those who live thousands of miles away as our neighbors and as members of the same human family. We may also come to understand ourselves in a new and profound way.

November 12 – November 13, 2005
Intentional Listening Practice Workshop. Co-sponsored by Opening of the Heart, Salam Al Ann (Palestinians for Peace Now), and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Chicago Chapter. At Gallery 37. For more information on the exhibit and the workshop, see

October 9, 2005
Chicago Chapter Meeting and Screening of Episode 1 of LAND OF THE SETTLERS (approx. 45 minutes) at the home of Ivan Handler, 905 Forest, Unit 1N in Evanston. LAND OF THE SETTLERS is a documentary series with graphic footage of the West Bank and Gaza including interviews with settlers, Palestinians, Israeli soldiers, peace activists and others. The series was made by journalist and TV anchorman Chaim Yavin who is often described as the "Israeli Walter Cronkite." The Chicago chapter will co-sponsor a showing of Part 2 at Lakeside Congregation in November.

The five movies in LAND OF THE SETTLERS are available for showings at Brit Tzedek house parties. For more information on how to host an event, email us.

NOTE: Chicago Peace Now will be sponsoring showings of Parts 1 and 2 of LAND OF THE SETTLERS accompanied by opening remarks and Q and A with director and star Chaim Yavin on October 19 and 20th. Details are below.

October 23, 2005
BREAKING THE SILENCE. Breaking the Silence was formed by former Israeli at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC), 303 Dodge Avenue, in Evanston.

Former Israel Defense Force (IDF) combat soldiers Avichay Sharon and Noam Chayut discussed the impact of the Israeli occupation on those charged with enforcing it. The two men are founding members of Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shitka) which has collected testimony from more than 300 soldiers and organized a widely acclaimed exhibit of photos taken by Israeli soldiers during their patrols in the West Bank city of Hebron in which 450 Jewish settlers live amongst over 100,000 Palestinians. Many of these photos will be shown during the presentation. To date, Breaking the Silence's testimonials have triggered 17 official IDF investigations and one internal disciplinary process.

This event is sponsored by the Chicago chapter of Brit Tzedek v´Shalom and co-sponsored by JRC and Beth Emet the Free Synagogue.

September 24, 2005
PICNIC co-sponsored by Salam Al Ann (Palestinians for Peace Now), Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Chicago Chapter, and Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Group (with members of Congregation Sukkat Shalom). At Lake Shore Park, 808 N. Lake Shore Drive. [read more]

August 31, 2005
MONTHLY MEETING OF BRIT TZEDEK MEMBERS ON NORTH SIDE (Rogers Park and North Shore suburbs). Discuss the Gaza withdrawal among like-minded Jews. Learn more about the current situation in Israel. Take action: write letters to editors, to your members of Congress, sign Brit Tzedek´s Message from American Jews to the President "Don´t Let Gaza Fail." And strategize on how we can engage other like-minded Jews. At Betsy Fuchs´, 7141 N. Kedzie #1007, Chicago. 773-338-8078.

June 12, 2005
"The Psychology of the Peace Process: Implications of Recent Polling data from Israelis and Palestinians and US Jews and Arabs" Join us for brunch with Aaron Ahuvia, Brit Tzedek board member andMarketing Professor at the University of Michigan,and a Report on Home District meetings with Representatives Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson, Jr.

June 2005
Three members of the Chicago chapter met with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his community liaison in his Hyde Park office. The meeting was extremely productive and Rep. Jackson Jr. and his aide expressed their interest in hearing from us on Middle East matters in the future. On June 5th, another Chicago chapter delegation met with the office of Rep. Rahm Emanuel in his home district. The meeting was friendly and informative, and we look forward to building a relationship with Congressman Emanuel. To find out how you can become involved in the chapter’s advocacy activities, send an email.

April 15, 2005  Press Coverage
Levy and Dajani spoke at the Levine Hillel Center of University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, 924 S. Morgan, Chicago at 12:00 noon. This event is co-sponsored by the Initiative for Israel on Illinois Campuses: A Partnerhsip of the Jewish United Fund's Jewish Community Relations Council, the Hillels of Illinois, the Levine Hillel Center of UIC and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Chicago chapter. For more information, email us.

Dinner with Daniel Levy and Rafi Dajani at Al Basha Restaurant, 6216 W. College Drive, Palos Heights at 6:30pm. This event co-sponsored by Yalla Salam (Palestinians for Peace Now), Southwest Arab Coalition, National Arab American Journalists Assoc., Granada Center for Human Rights and Brit Tzedek v´Shalom, Chicago chapter.

April 14, 2005
Daniel Levy, Geneva Intiative Policy Director, and Rafi Dajani, Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine spoke at Northwestern University, Swift Hall Room 107, 2029 Sheridan Road in Evanston at 8:00pm. This event was co-sponsored by the Fiedler Hillel Center at Northwestern University and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Chicago chapter. For more information, contact Jennifer Lowenthal.

March 11, 2005  Press Coverage
Israeli Defense Forces Pilot Refuser, Yonatan Shapira, spoke at DePaul University Human Rights Law Center, 25 E. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago at 1:00pm. This event was free and open to the public. For more information, send an email.

Yonatan Shapira, spoke at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation,1100 E. Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago.Shapira spoke at Friday night services, beginning at 8:00pm. For more information, send an email.These events co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and the Refuser Solidarity Network.

March 10, 2005
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom Board Member, Cherie Brown, will present a talk entitled "Hear All Voices: Creating a place for all Jews who care about Israel to be heard." Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue, 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston at 7:30 pm. For more info, email us.

January 16, 2005
Come meet others at the home of Jon and Kathleen Dopkeen in Hyde Park at 1:00pm. For more information, email us.

January 30, 2005
Potluck at the home of Hasha Musha Perman in Skokie at 12:00pm. After our potluck, learn about and participate in the Listening Project. We will introduce structured methods of listening respectfully and with full attention to each other, as we express our feelings on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For more information, email us.

December 12, 2004
Celebrate Chanukah at the home of Betsy Fuchs in Rogers Park at 12:00pm. For more information, email us.

November 5, 2004
Former MK Naomi Chazan spoke after Friday evening services at Congregation Kol Ami, 845 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and MeretzUSA.

November 4, 2004
Lakeside Congregation hosted Naomi Chazan following a memorial service to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. 1221 County Line Road, Highland Park.Sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and MeretzUSA. Read press coverage.

October 20, 2004
Jerusalem Women Speak: Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision
An evening with three women – a Jewish Israeli, a Muslim Palestinian, and a Christian Palestinian – they spoke of their personal experiences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the need for peace in the region. These women represent the true and valid voices of a seldom-heard segment of the communities in the area of conflict.

Gila Svirsky, the Jewish Israeli participant, is a veteran peace and human rights activist in Israel, having headed some of the major peace and human rights organizations in Israel: the New Israel Fund, Bat Shalom, and B’Tselem. She has been a member of Women in Black since its inception, and co-founded the Coalition of Women for Peace. Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation: 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston.

October 17, 2004
Potluck and meeting at the home of Richard Rubin. Bring vegetarian dishes to 1252 Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Floor at 2:00 pm.

October 10, 2004
Potluck and meeting at the home of Bill Dolnick and Rachel Abramson.

October 3, 2004
Potluck dinner at the home of Yali Amit. Celebrate Sukkoth with friends and great conversation!

October 2, 2004
Joint Activity between Palestinians and American Jews Supporting Two State Solution
On October 2nd, Palestinian and Israeli groups in Chicago worked together to host two speakers, Mark Rosenblum of Americans for Peace Now and Omar Dajani a Palestinian peace activist and former PLO representative.Palestinian American Congress Hall: 6000 W. 79th Street, Lower Level Hall, Burbank IL 60459, 6:00 pm. This event was free and open to the public.

June 13, 2004
Chicago Brit Tzedek v?Shalom tabled and broadened its network at the Greater Chicago Jewish Folk Festival.

May 14, 2004
Ivan Handler and Jessica Rosenblum, Brit Tzedek´s Assistant Director, led a lively post-service discussion at the Bnai Yehuda-Beth Shalom Congregation of Homewood-Flossmor on the roles and significance of the Geneva Accord and other peace initiatives.

May 5, 2004
Geneva Accord negotiator, advisor on Jerusalem Affairs and Israel-PLO Final Status Talks to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel (199-2001), Lecturer and Research Fellow, Dr. Menachem Klein, spoke at Beth Emet, the Free Synagogue, on "Disengagement or Dialogue: Which Way to Security and Peace for Israel" The event was co-sponsored by Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Chicago Peace Now, and the Labor Zionist Alliance.

April 18, 2004
Brit Tzedek held a successful chapter meeting at KAM Isaiah Synagogue in the Hyde Park neighborhood to discuss the dynamics of Brit Tzedek's national Spirit of Geneva campaign and the possibilities for integrating Brit Tzedek's Northside and burgeoning Southside constituencies.

April 17, 2004
Representatives of Brit Tzedek's local and national leadership gathered to meet with local leaders from the Labor Zionist Alliance and Americans for Peace Now at Laurie Wasserman's house in Skokie. In addition to being an LZA and Brit Tzedek member, Wasserman is also the mother of Beth Wasserman, Brit Tzedek's Boston chapter co-chair. The meeting was congenial and constructive and lay what will hopefully prove the groundwork for future collaboration between the groups.

December 3, 2003
Brit Tzedek's national office, in conjunction with the Chicago Chapter, joined a group of Jewish and Palestinian American community leaders on December 3 to host a press conference at which a joint declaration of support for the principles of the Geneva Accord was signed. [read more]

November 4, 2003
Former Member of Knesset Brit Tzedek v?Shalom President, Marcia Freedman, spoke at the John Marshall Law School and at Northwestern University on the Current and Future Directions of Israel?s Road to Peace. Co-sponsored by Beth Emet, Chicago Brit Tzedek, The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation of Evanston, the John Marshall Law School, and the Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel Center at Northwestern University.

October 19, 2003
Marcia Freedman, Brit Tzedek President: Chicagoans met one of the founders of Brit Tzedek who talked about her hopes for the organization and its progress so far. A long-time activist and a founder of the women's movement in Israel, Marcia has been devoting her retirement to building our organization into an important voice for progressive Jews on the American political scene. This was an opportunity to hear the thinking behind Brit Tzedek's strategy and policy initiatives. This meeting was both for Brit Tzedek members and people who want to learn more about the organization. Noon at the Levine Hillel Center (UIC).

Marcia also spoke at KAM Isaiah on Sunday, October 19th 10 AM.

September 14, 2003
Steve Masters, Brit Tzedek's National Advocacy Co-Chair
Noon to 4:00 p.m. at DePaul University, Munroe Hall, Room 114
Join us at noon for a bagel brunch and then hear Steve address us about advocacy efforts (including the Call to Bring the Settlers Home) that Brit Tzedek is engaged in. In the second half of the afternoon, Steve will lead a workshop teaching skills for effective advocacy. Details of this event will be forthcoming.

Steve will also be speaking at: Temple Chai in Long Grove, Friday evening September 12 at Shabbat services.

July 2003
We had two house meetings this summer to introduce people to Brit Tzedek and the Call. People came to a Rogers Park gathering and at a Wicker Park location, over 35 people in their 20's gathered for food, socializing, and serious discussion about the mideast. This group sponsored a film series; the first was on Tuesday, August 26 at 7 PM, showing "My Terrorist."

April 2003
Brit Tzedek's national tour, Selective Refusal: Towards a More Secure and Democratic Israel, began on March 31 in Houston, Texas. Ishai Menuchin, founder of Israel's first refuser organization -- Yesh Gvul (There is a Limit) -- spoke at Brit Tzedek sponsored events in Houston, Madison, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC.

Menuchin is the recipient of the 2003 Oscar Romero Award for Commitment to Truth and Freedom from the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. In Jerusalem, he works as a lecturer at Hebrew University and as director of organizational development for Shatil Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel.

Chapter Newsletters

Local Press Coverage

  • The New York Times
    February 2, 2009
    Letter to the Editor: Covering the Competing Israeli-Palestinian Storylines
    I am a rather aged American Jew, a World War II veteran, who is a critic of Israel but who also sympathizes with Ethan Bronner's journalistic plight. Whatever one might say about Zionism and Israel's violent birth in 1948, its task then was to gain over time acceptance and a tolerable peace with its Arab neighbors.

  • The Chicago Tribune
    January 8, 2008
    Jewish support crucial now for Middle East peace
    It was supposed to be different. President Bush is headed for Israel and the West Bank, on a trip meant to coincide with the first real progress toward peace after years of diplomatic neglect. The Annapolis peace conference, held in November, was to have been the start of something new.

  • Highland Park News
    October 26, 2006
    Lakeside Congregation To Host Peace Activists
    Lakeside Congregation will host two Middle East peace activists to discuss how they were raised and how they came to see beyond the stereotypes they learned of the other's culture.

  • Chicago Jewish Star
    April 7-27, 2006
    Rabbis’ Letter Stirs Some Testiness
    A March 3 letter urging President George Bush to continue humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, signed by nearly 400 American rabbis, has provoked a backlash against some of those rabbis.

  • Chicago Jewish News
    April 14, 2006
    Keep Channels to Hamas Open
    The Hamas election victory that secured the majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature poses a moral and pragmatic dilemma for the Jewish community.

  • Chicago Jewish News
    August 19, 2005
    New Envoy for Gaza
    The planned Israeli pullout from Gaza is just days away. Hailed by many as a new opportunity for peace and a surprising reversal for Ariel Sharon, a lifelong hawk, the removal of some 9,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements has raised hopes throughout the world.

  • Arab American Media Syndicate
    April 16, 2005
    Palestinian-Israeli Team Urges Renewed Push for Peace
    Advocates of a two-state solution and an end to the Palestine-Israel conflict need to recognize the benefits from Israel´s evacuation from Gaza and must work to strengthen the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That was among the many messages offered in Chicago Friday at a meeting hosted by Yalla Salam! (Palestinians for Peace Now) and Brit Tzedek v´Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Peace) and featuring two speakers, Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, and Rafi Dajani, executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine.

  • The Palestine Chronicle
    March 18, 2005
    Up Close and Personal: Israeli Refuser Pilot on US Tour
    From his aerial view, Shapira flew over Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugee camps. While the helicopter´s blades spun, he looked below... .

  • Chicago Jewish News
    November 2004
    Jewish Chicagoans React to Arafat's Passing
    Most members of Chicago's Jewish community who follow Middle Eastern affairs closely see Yasser Arafat's death as a seismic event that could change the Israeli-Palestinian relationship in profound ways.

  • Highland Park News
    October 28, 2004
    Memorial Service Set to Honor the Memory of Yitzchak Rabin
    Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism will host a memorial service to remember the ninth anniversary of the death of Yitzchak Rabin... Afterward, former Israeli deputy speaker of the Knesset Naomi Chazan will discuss “The Future of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State: Prospects for Peace.”

  • Media Monitors Network
    October 7, 2004
    Palestinians-Jews Explore Peace Options beyond US Elections
    The continued deterioration in Palestinian-Israeli elections will notchange unless the United States moves from the role of "empire to umpire," a panel of Palestinian and Jewish peace activists agreed during appearances in Chicago.

  • Jewish United Fund, Chicago
    October 29, 2002
    Bereaved Israelis and Palestinians Visit Chicago
    After the first intifada 15 years ago, Amiram and Tilda Goldin felt the only way to a lasting peace was to bring Arabs and Jews together. When their 20-year-old son was killed this past August after a suicide bomber blew up the bus he was riding back to his army base in Safed, the Goldins became more convinced that dialogue - not destruction - is the only way to end the bloodshed.

  • The Chicago Tribune
    August 8, 2002
    Rumsfeld and The Settlements
    Read this editorial by the Chicago Tribune that found the BTvS proposal that the international community establish a fund to bring the settlers home "not a bad idea."
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