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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Chapter Activities

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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

Upcoming Events

Past Events


Sunday, November 8, 2009
2 PM
Bala Cynwyd Library, North Highland Avenue and Old Lancaster Road,
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Local Attorney and National President Of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Steve Masters, To Speak On “Israeli Peace Options In The Age Of Obama”at November Meeting.

Sunday, May 18th
Despite rainy weather on May 18th, 2008, our Philly Brit Tzedek chapter's  participation in the Israel 60 Festival was a total success!
We marched holding a gorgeous new banner. We hosted a Brit Tzedek "Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace" table, teaming with information and participatory action-items, in the main vendor's tent. 
Literally hundreds of people stopped by to hear our message and take our materials! Dozens of people signed on to the "Time To Chose" peace petition.

We look forward to more participation like this from Philly Brit Tzedek membersand supporters. Let's keep the momentum going!

Sunday, May 18th
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Israel Festival
Parade down the Ben Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval (near the Art Museum), where festival will be held.

Many of you may know that the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a huge blowout celebration in honor of Israel's sixtieth anniversary -- and it's
happening THIS SUNDAY, May 18th, from Noon - 5PM!
Details at:


ASAP: Please contact Jonathan Kammer to RSVP and get further instructions:
(734) 945-0587

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Philadelphia Brit Tzedek made a big impact at the Wednesday March 19 pro-Israel solidarity rally in LOVE Park in Center City Philadelphia. Brit Tzedek activists holding signs, wearing buttons and T-Shirts and distributing leaflets with our statement on the massacre of the Yeshiva students on one side and an article from Ha'aretz reporting that 64% of Israelis want a negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on the other side. Joining us yesterday was Rabbi Marcia Prager, whose congregation - Pnai Or of Philadelphia - has formally endorsed the work of Brit Tzedek.

Sunday, February 17, 2008
2:00 - 3:00 pm, 4014 Walnut St.
Exhibit tour with the Philadelphia, New York City and DC Brit Tzedek chapters, followed by discussion with chapter leaders.
For more information, contact Chris MacDonald-Dennis at email

October 17, 2007, 6:00PM
A dinner will take place before the event at the Cosi at 6:00pm. The NiForum 2007 will be a thought-provoking discussion with Naomi Chazan, Head of the School of Government and Society at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo Yural Yavneh,a writer, musician and activist on behalf of Jewish pluralism Yarona Ben Shalom-Richardson, co-director of SHATIL, NIF's empowerment and training center, in Be'er Sheva.

Septmeber 30th
A Brit Tzedek meeting will take place at 2pm at the home/sukkah of Leslie Sudock, located at 424 South 26th Street in Center City.

August 20th at 6:30 PM
At the home of Steve Masters
Please join us for a potluck dinner including a round table discussion and chapter visioning session with some of the leadership of Brit Tzedek vShalom: Diane Cantor, Executive Director; Steve Masters, President Elect; Rob Levy, Washington Representative; and Jessica Gorelick, Manager, Chapter Development.
Please RSVP to Chris MacDonald-Dennis at 734-383-5034.

May 15, 7:00-9:00pm,
Discussion on Two State Solution. Still Possible? Discussion will feature the chair of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom’s Advocacy Committee and former Executive Director, Diane Balser, Senior fellow at Institute for Palestine Studies, Nadia Hijab and writer, analyst and activist, Phyllis Bennis. At the Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, Event is free and open to the public. Click here for more information or call 215-241-7874

January 12, 2007
Combatants for Peace
Berwyn, PA
7:30 pm (Shabbat services) 8:15 pm (presentation) Congregation Or Shalom, 835 Derby-Paoli Rd.
Sponsor: Philadelphia Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Co-sponsor: Congregation Or Shalom
For more information, contact Chris MacDonald- Dennis by email or (734) 383-5034

January 13, 2007
Combatants for Peace
Cherry Hill, NJ
8pm House Party at home of Dr. Dan Gottlieb
Sponsor: Philadelphia Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Co-sponsor: Congregation M'kor Shalom
For more information, send an email to the Philadelphia Chapter
or call (856) 424-4220

January 14, 2007
Combatants for Peace
Philadelphia, PA
1pm potluck in home of Paul Shane in Germantown
Sponsor: Philadelphia Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Co-sponsor: The Kehila for Secular Jews of Philadelphia.
For more information, contact Chris MacDonald- Dennis by email or (734) 383-5034

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.

April 4, 2006
Israel Election Round Up – What's Next?
12:00-2:00 pm, Jewish Services Building, 2100 Arch Street. Join us for an analysis of the Israeli Elections with Nathan Guttman, Jerusalem Post Correspondent. Mr. Guttman will provide an analysis of the Israeli Elections and what the implications may be for the peace process and domestic policy. He has been covering the Middle East peace process for the past 15 years, both as a reporter and as an editor in Israel's major news outlets.

As diplomatic correspondent based in Jerusalem and as a Washington based reporter, Mr. Guttman has followed the attempts to bring peace to the region from covering the Madrid peace conference through the signing of the Oslo accord and up to the disengagement and latest developments in the Middle East. He now heads the US bureau of the Jerusalem Post and was previously the Washington bureau chief for Haaretz newspaper. Donations most appreciated. Sponsor: Jewish Labor Committee. Co-Sponsors: Ameinu, American Jewish Committee, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Consulate of Israel, Sholom Aleichem Club, State of Israel Bonds, Union of Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Workmen’s Circle.

November 7, 2005
Gaza, The Settlements, and Beyond
The event included a presentation of Israeli journalist Chaim Yavin’s controversial new documentary, Land of the Settlers, a personal journey covering more than two years of excursions into the territories to meet with Arabs and Jews from all parts of the political spectrum. For more information, contact Corey Shdaimah or Chris McDonald-Dennis.

February 22, 2005
The Philadelphia chapter of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom presented IDF pilot Yonatan Shapira. In October 2003, Shapira was one of 27 pilots who signed the "Pilots’ Letter." Shapira will speak at several locations in the Philadelphia area. News coverage

12:00-2:00pm: University of Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin Room in Houston Hall-Room 218. For more information, contact

7:00-9:00pm: At the Home of Paul and Ana Shane.All are welcome.For more information, contact 267-254-5595 or email us.

February 18, 2004
Princeton Peace Network/Middle East Society/Center for Jewish Life lecture: Working for Peace Between Israel and Palestine: How and Why? with Brit Tzedek Board Member Steve Masters, Tikkun National Organizer Robyn Lundy, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gila Svirsky.

Co-sponsored by the Princeton Near East Society and the Princeton University Center for Jewish Life. Princeton Center For Jewish Life (Wilf Auditorium), 4:30 PM.

February 17, 2004
Getting to Peace Between Israel and Palestine: How & Why, with Brit Tzedek Board Member Steve Masters, Tikkun National Organizer Robyn Lundy. (Optional dinner at the White Dog Cafe before talk). Dessert and coffee will be served, 6 PM.

February 16, 2004
Beth Ahavah presents a special speaker evening with Steve Masters on the topic "How Loving Israel and Working for Peace Go Hand in Hand." Beth Ahava, 8 Letitia Street, Phila, PA 19106, 6:30 PM.

November 2, 2003
Main Line Reform Temple - Beth Elohim was nearly filled to capacity as close to 400 came to hear MK Amram Mitzna speak about the details of the Geneva initiative, whose existence was revealed to the world less than three weeks ago. Some came from as far away as Washington DC to hear the two term Mayor of Haifa and former leader of the Labor Party outline his views of the threats facing Israel and reveal for the first time the details of a bold new peace initiative he helped negotiate which resolves every aspect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. His appearances in Philadelphia were part of a national speaking tour organized by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and were locally sponsored by PZA/Brit Tzedek and Main Line Reform Temple - Beth Elohim. Local co-sponsors were the Jewish Labor Committee Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, Mid-Atlantic Region of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations Pennsylvania Council.

Leading off the evening, Rabbi David Straus, Main Line Reform's senior rabbi and this year's President of the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, delivered a stirring d'var torah on the Tower of Babel. In recounting the story, which takes up all of 7 lines in the Torah, and some of the classic commentaries, Rabbi Straus laid a wonderful foundation for the evening's program - namely that the human drive to all speak with one voice/language has throughout history proved futile and that in fact we draw our strength and vibrancy from our differences.

Member of Knesset Amram Mitzna then gave a rousing speech in which he outlined the multiple threats facing Israeli society today and then described in detail the new peace initiative that he and other prominent Israeli generals and political leaders have negotiated over the past two and a half years with leading Palestinians, including Palestinian leaders from the refugee camps, former Ministers in the Palestinian Authority and leaders of the Tanzim, the armed wing of Fattah, the main faction in the PLO.

He spoke to a decidedly mixed crowd - as the article in the Jewish Exponent relates below - a little more than half of the audience gave him a standing ovation at the end, with the remainder consisting of Jews who before the talk had disagreements with Mitzna's political views. The power of his presentation was illustrated by one man who came up to Mitzna after his talk and said that he had disagreed with everything Mitzna stood for before he came that evening, but that after listening to Mitzna he was now rethinking everything.

At the Progressive Zionist Alliance's literature table, dozens of new faces gave us their contact information and many signed the Call to Bring the Settlers Home to Israel. Mitzna's appearance, coming on the heels of the incredible Brit Tzedek 2nd annual conference, where Mitzna was the keynote speaker for the 600 attendees, has re-energized our local leadership.

The next morning, Mitzna addressed 33 Jewish communal leaders, including 10 rabbis, called together by the American Jewish Committee, the Board of Rabbis and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was well received by the group, who peppered him with thoughtful questions about the details of the Geneva initiative.

MK Mitzna's trip to Philadelphia was nearly called off several times throughout the day as Mitzna tried to return to Israel before the general strike closed down the country's borders and airport. It was only at 5:30 PM, when we learned that his flight to Israel later that evening was officially cancelled, that we knew that Mitzna would definitely appear in person at 7:30 PM that evening!

The full text of the Geneva initiative is available on the Progressive Zionist Alliance's website:

Local Press Coverage

  • Watch Philly chapter member and National Board member, Steven Masters, in an interview with Palestinian activist, Saffiya Shillo.
    The interview took place following a memorial service for former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 5, 2006 at Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism in Highland Park, IL, and can now be viewed online here.

  • Jewish Voice
    April 2006
    The Rabbis Respond
    Nearly four hundred rabbis from across the country and the denominational spectrum of American Judaism sent a letter Friday to President Bush, urging him to “maintain a cautious approach to the new Palestinian government, so as to preserve the future possibility of bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, which is the only path to achieve true peace and security for both peoples.”

  • Jewish Exponent
    March 22, 2006
    Use Humanitarian Aid to Bring Parties Back to the Table
    The recent Hamas election victory that secured the majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature poses a dilemma for the supporters of Israel.

  • JTA News
    March 15, 2006
    Rabbis Collaborate on Letter to Push Humanitarian Aid to Palestinians
    As hundreds of activists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee descended on Capitol Hill last week to push for a ban on U.S. outlays to the Palestinian Authority, a group of some 400 rabbis was touting its own response to Hamas’ ascendancy in a letter to the White House.

  • JTA News
    May 24, 2005
    Despite Distate for Settlements, Philadelphia’s Jews Shun Boycott
    You would be hard-pressed to find many members of northwest Philadelphia's vibrant Jewish community fully in favor of the presence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • JTA News
    May 2005
    City of Brotherly Love
    Members of a Philadelphia food cooperative overwhelmingly defeated aresolution to boycott Israeli products.

  • The Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia, PA)
    March 3, 2005
    Israeli Talks of Why He Refused Army Service
    A brief lunch-time lecture at the University of Pennsylvania set off a give-and-take last week when a former Israeli air-force pilot came to town to discuss why he once refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza.

  • The Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia, PA)
    November 6, 2003
    A Creator of a New Mideast Peace Lays Out What’s On the Line
    Amram Mitzna, a famous - and, in some circles of late, infamous - Israeli politico came to town Nov. 2 pushing his controversial plan for peace in the Middle East.

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer
    August 3, 2003
    A Campaign to 'Buy' Settlers Home
    Money enticed most of them there, and money is the surest way to bring them back. That is the guiding principle of a costly, controversial grassroots Jewish campaign tackling one of the Mideast conflict's thorniest issues: the Israeli settlers living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip...

  • The Jewish Exponent
    July 31, 2003
    New Group Issues a Pressing Call: 'Bring the Settlers Home'
    Closing Israeli settlements would increase the country’s security, remove the settlers from danger, and enhance the moral and democratic character of Israel...

  • New Voices
    January 2002
    Baking a Greater Israel
    Israel's supporters often complain about Palestinian maps that label as "Palestine" the entire land west of the Jordan River, an area that encompasses Israel as well as the Occupied Territories. Of course, Israeli maps are often similar, simply labeling the entire land "Israel" instead.

  • Philedelphia Weekly
    November, 2001
    Peace on Earth?
    Terror makes way for peace. Tragedy creates hope. One Israeli politician wants the events of Sept. 11 to pave the way to a renewed peace process with Palestine. Israeli Knesset member Avshalom Vilan brought this message to more than 40 people in the City Council Caucus room last Friday.
Nothing found for Btvshalom Org Chapters Philadelphia Index Shtml

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