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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Chapter Activities

Western Massachusetts

To add your name to our Western Massachusetts chapter mailing list and for more information about our activities and committees, please email us.

Upcoming Events

Monday, November 19, 2009
Congregation B'nai Israel
Northampton, MA

"A One-country/Two-state Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" with Prof.
Herbert Kelman of Harvard University's Program on International Conflict Resolution
and Analysis, will take place at Congregation B'nai Israel, 253 Prospect St. .,
Northampton. (Use side entrance)

Coming to us fresh from a trip to Israel, Herbert C. Kelman is a widely recogized
pioneer in the development of interactive problem solving--an unofficial third-party
approach to the resolution of international and intercommunal conflict--he has been
engaged for nearly forty years in efforts toward the resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, and
co-chair of the Middle East Seminar at Harvard University.

Past Events


Monday, November 9, 2009

Arik Ascherman, the Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel,
an indefatigable advocate who has stood up to bulldozers to prevent demolitions of
Palestinian homes, is on the front lines of the fight for the human rights of all
people in Israel and the occupied territories, will share his experiences and engage
in conversation. Co-sponsored by the Western Mass chapter of Brit Tzedek v' Shalom
and a group of organizations at Hampshire College.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bangs Community Center, Lower Meeting Room
70 Boltwood Walk
Amherst, MA

Please join Aziz Abu Sarah as he will be speaking on "Keep Hope Alive!  Two Peoples, Two Stories...Finding the Turning Point for Israeli Palestinian Peace."   He serves as Palestinian chair for the Bereaved Families Forum in Israel-Palestine and as as the Director of Middle East Projects with the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.  For more information please contact Carolyn Oppenheimer,  413-584-0722.  Program sponsored by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

1 pm
The Common House of Pathways
630 Florence Rd.
Co-Housing on Mountain Laurel Path, off Florence Rd.
Florence, MA

Join us at for a pot luck Shabbat lunch this Saturday for a discussion with Mitchell Plitnick, B’Tselem’s (Israeli Human Rights organization) US director, to hear about what is happening on the ground in Israel and in Washington DC. For more information please contact us by email.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

7:00 PM
Hampshire College
Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall

This low-budget documentary explores the complicated life of Ezra Nawi, a
Sephardic Jew and relentless social activist living in Israel. Film Talk! w/ Aaron Berman, Middle East expert and Dean of Faculty, Hampshire College.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Congregation B’Nai Israel
253 Prospect St
Northampton, MA

Combatants for Peace are a group of Israeli and Palestinian individuals who were actively involved in the cycle of violence. 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 all used weapons against one another, and looked at each other only through weapon sights; however today they cooperate and commit ourselves to ending the conflict peacefully without violence through nonviolent means.  

For more information please contact us by email.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bangs Community Center
70 Boltwood Walk
Amherst, MA

Join the Western Chapter of Brit Tzedek for a gathering with pro-peace members of the Jewish community to discuss out thoughts, feelings and ideas about the current crisis in Israel and Gaza.

Thursday, December 8, 2008

7:30 PM
Pathways Co-Housing Common House, Mountain Laurel Path off Florence Road
630 Florence Road (map)
Northhampton, MA

Two Brit Tzedek members just back from Israel will give a
report on human rights activities in Israel and the West Bank.

October 28, 2008

7:00 PM
Academy of Music
274 Main St., Northampton, MA

Amen Sulha Peace Concert and Film Screening
Benefit to Promote Israeli-Palestinian Coexistence in the Middle East, featuring the
Internationally Acclaimed Music of “Amen” and a 20-minute film.

Tickets are $14-20. Advanced tickets may be purchased at or by
calling 1-800-504-4849

March 5
7:30-9:00 PM
B’Nai Israel of Northampton, 253 Prospect Street, Northampton
Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Development (IPCRI) tour with Gerson Baskin and Hanna Siniora
Sponsor: Western Massachusetts Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
For more information, contact Carolyn Oppenheim by email

March 4
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Hampshire College at Franklin Patterson Hall, the West Lecture Hall.
BTS member Dotan Greenvald will share a collection of photographs, interviews by Israeli soldiers and share his story of the daily reality as a soldier in the occupied territories. Co-sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, and Hampshire College-Union of Progressive Zionists.. For more information, contact Joel Dansky at email. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
7:30 PM
The library of the JCA, 742 Main Street, Amherst

Chapter Meeting

Please join us to for this chapter meeting!  We will discuss Yonatan Shapira’s plea for help from American Jews and what we can do here in Western Massachusetts.

For more information pleace contact the Western Massachusetts Chapter.

Sunday, November 18, 2007
2:00 PM
Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main Street, Amherst

Talk with Yonatan Sharpira: "American Jews Can Make a Difference in the Middle East Peace Process: an Israeli Jewish peace activist speaks out"

Monday, October 29, 2007
7:00 PM
Florence Congregational Church
130 Pine Street, Florence

An evening with Bustan: a grassroots partnership of Jewish and Arab eco-builders, architects, academics, and farmers. 

Please join us in an evening with Bustan’s founder Deborah Brous and director Ra’ed Al-Mickawi.  They will address the political ecology of Israel’s Negev region, and BUSTAN’s efforts to recognize the ‘unrecognized’ Bedouin population living in southern Israel.  It will certainly be an inspiring evening of music, slides, and stories of social and environmental justice!

For more information please contact the Western Massachusetts Chapter.

Friday, October 26, 2007
7:30 PM
Home of Professor Stephanie Levin
113 Franklin Street, Northhampton (off Prospect Street)

Presentation “On Both Sides of the Wall Encounters with Israeli and Palestinian Activists”

Please join us to hear Professor Stephanie Levin, a legal studies professor at Hampshire College and a founding member of Western MA Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, and Larry Rosenberg discuss their recent organized trip to Israel and Palestine for progressive American Jews through the Boston Workmen’s Circle.  Also, Israeli refusenik Noam Bahat, who is now attending Hampshire College after serving two years in Israeli prisons for refusing to join the army, will also speak. 

For more information please contact the Western Massachusetts Chapter.

LET'S TALK ABOUT PEACE - May 3, 7:00pm
At Pathways Co-Housing Common House in Florence

The Western Massachusetts Chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom invites you to join us for a discussion on why this is a critical time for American Jews to engage vigorously in supporting efforts toward achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
If you have friends who might be interested, please feel free to invite them. Refreshments will be served, so send an RSVP to Nancy Felton to help us plan accordingly.
For directions or more information send an email or call 413-530-6484.

Sunday March, 11 at 7:00 PM
UMASS Amherst
Flavin Family Auditorium
School of Management, Room 137
Free and open to the public; wheelchair accessible.
Discussion following the film.

First Film:
West Bank Story, winner of this year's Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, is a musical comedy about dueling falafel stands in the West Bank—a hilarious parody of West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet which makes a serious statement about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Second Film: Encounter Point:
English, Hebrew, Arabic with subtitles; 85 minutes.

January 18, 2007
Combatants For Peace

A former Israeli soldier Elik Elhanan and a former Palestinian combatant and prisoner Sulaiman Al Hamri will appear together on Jan. 18th at 7:30 p.m. at the Bangs Community Center in downtown Amherst to advocate for non-violent alternatives for achieving a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The speakers, who represent the Israeli-Palestinian group Combatants for Peace, are coming to Amherst and Northampton as part of a 22-city national tour to the United States. For more information on the tour, including bios, please click here. For more information on the event, contact Carolyn Toll Oppenheim by email or (413) 584-0722 or Lisa Lieberman at (413) 253-4966

Tuesday,October 24, 2006, 7:00 PM
Follow-up discussion meeting
Please join us the Wednesday following the "Jerusalem Women Speak: Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision" event to discuss our vision as members of Brit Tzedek and as a chapter.  We will meet once again at the Community Room of Florence Savings Bank at the Whole Foods Mall on Route 9 in Hadley.

October 18, 2006
7:00-9:00PM, Hampshire College campus, building TBA. Please join Brit Tzedek v?Shalom Western Massachusetts at Hampshire College on Thurday, October 18 for ?Jerusalem Women Speak: Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision.? Brit Tzedek will be co-sponsoring this event. The Three Women tour is organized by Washington DC-based Partners for Peace.

September 26, 2006
Brit Tzedek Western Massachusetts Chapter Discussion
7:00PM, Community Room, Florence Savings Bank, Hadley, (Corner of South Maple St. and Route 9, in the Whole Foods mall). Over the summer we had three well-attended discussions about the situation in Israel, Lebanon and Gaza. Many of you wanted to be there, but couldn't be free that night, or were away. Here is your chance. (And this time we are trying a venue that is HALFWAY BETWEEN Northampton and Amherst!) Some questions to ponder in advance that we will discuss together include: How has this "situation" affected you - personally, at home, at work, with friends, with other communities? What is the next most important thing that should happen over there? What, if anything, could we do as a Brit Tzedek chapter? As Jews in Western Mass? As a Jewish community?

July 27, 2006
Follow-Up Meeting and Action Ideas Discussion
We will have a follow-up meeting to the July 26, 2006 forum in order to discuss action ideas proposed the previous night. The meeting will be at the home of Nancy Felton and Joel Dansky in Northampton. For directions please email us or call 584-1299. Come and bring your ideas!

July 26, 2006
Community Forum on the Middle East
7:00pm at First Churches of Northampton, 129 Main Street, Northampton, MA. This Wednesday there will be a public forum on the Middle East co-sponsored by a number of non-Jewish groups, and Carolyn Toll Oppenheim will be the only Jewish speaker. It is at 7:00 PM at the First Churches on Main St. in Northampton. Please come and raise Jewish peace perspectives. Look for Nancy Felton with a box of Brit Tzedek tee shirts, for any of you who are willing to wear them! We will have our literature available as well. We decided tonight that it would be a good way to let folks know PEACE-ORIENTED JEWS ARE out there and make them curious to come ask us questions. This tactic was used by many Brit Tzedek chapters around the country, who went to the big pro-Israel rallies wearing Brit Tzedek tee shirts and had very positive responses.

July 25, 2006
Western Massachusetts Brit Tzedek Group Discussion
You are invited to a spontaneous gathering to discuss the dilemma we find ourselves in, as Brit Tzedek members, in this terrible time. We invite anyone who wants to join us to discuss what we and other Jews who are seeking a peace voice can do in our own communities. The gathering is taking place at 7:00PM the home of Carolyn Toll Oppenheim in Northampton. For directions and more information, please call (413) 584-0722 or email us.

April 27, 2006
Israel Decides: A Post Election Discussion - 7:00-9:00 pm
At the home of Marcos Kleinerman, Northampton. Please join the Western Mass Brit Tzedek v’Shalom chapter for an informal discussion of the post-election climate for peace following the two elections in the region?in Israel and Palestine?and the current situation in the region today.

We will kick off the discussion with brief remarks by Joel Dansky and Carolyn Toll Oppenheim and then open it up to a discussion among those gathered. For directions please email us.

February 26, 2006
TOWN HALL TELECONFERENCE WITH AKIVA ELDAR 2:30 - 4:30pm. Western Massachusetts Brit Tzedek v’Shalom will be joining a Town Hall teleconference with leading Israeli political pundit Akiva Eldar, chief political columnist for Ha?aretz, to discuss Israeli elections. We will participate in the conference call and then have our own discussion about his predictions for Israel’s elections next month, as well as his assessment of the impact of the recent regional upheaval on them. Send your questions in advance. We hope you can join us for this interesting event. For directions or for more information please email co-chairs Nancy Felton or Nancy Felton.

December 1, 2005
Chapter Meeting. To find out more about future events and activities, please contact Carolyn or Nancy.

June 15, 2005
Healing across the Divides: Peacebuilding while Fostering Improved Health among Israelis and Palestinians with Dr. Norbert Goldfield, Northampton physician and founder of nonprofit, Healing Across the Divides at 7:30pm. Co-sponsored by Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street, Northampton and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Western Mass. chapter of the Jewish Alliance of Justice and Peace.

September 9, 2004
Israel and Palestine 2004: A Personal Report from a Peace Delegation
A slide show and presentation, by Joel Dansky and Nancy Felton who were part of a Faculty for Israel Palestine Peace delegation in June 2004. They visited several areas of Israel and the West Bank and spoke with Israeli and Palestinian activists, academics and analysts. Nancy and Joel spoke about what they saw and heard and share their personal reflections on the situation. At the home of Carolyn Toll Oppenheim (dessert will be served) - 19 Yale Street, Holyoke.

February 29, 2004
Brit Tzedek Vice President speaks in Northampton about Geneva Accords. Congregation B'Nai Israel presents a discussion of the Geneva Accord. Diane Balser, Vice President of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace) who personally attended the signing of the Geneva Peace Accords will be the principal speaker with congregation member Joe Kushick, responding.

At the synagogue that same evening you can see the opening of a photography exhibit called "In the Spirit of Peace: The Land and People of Israel/Palestine," presented by local photographer /artist (and CBI member) Michael Jacobson-Hardy. The exhibition focuses on the shared humanity of the people who live in Israel/Palestine today. Congregation B'Nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street, Northampton, 7:00pm.

February 29, 2004
Brit Tzedek Western Mass chapter invites you to a pot luck reception to meet and talk with our national vice president Diane Balser more informally, at the home of Stephanie Levin and Bob Goodman, 133 Franklin Ave., Northampton, 5:00pm. No rsvp needed, just bring a dinner dish to share. This event is sponsored by the Brit Tzedek chapter.

March 30, 2003
"Reaching Out to the Other: Personal Experience of Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding."
By local poet and activist Merle Feld
[read more]

Local Press Coverage

  • Daily Hampshire Gazette
    March 3, 2008
    U.S. can help forge Mideast peace
    By Gerson Baskin and Hanna Siniora
    The upcoming U.S. elections won't affect Israelis and Palestinians as they do American citizens - yet it's undeniable that America's choice for president will have an enormous impact on the lives and struggles of people in the Middle East. We can only hope that American votes will consider our concerns as they cast their ballots. [Read More]

  • Daily Hampshire Gazette
    January 18, 2007
    Israeli, Palestinian speak today on Mideast conflict
    Mackenzie Issler
    AMHERST - It would be hard to find a more unlikely pairing than the one that will take center stage tonight in Amherst and Friday at the Northampton High School: a former Israeli soldier whose sister was killed in a suicide bomb and a Palestinian activist who spent four years in an Israeli prison. And that, the two say, is why they hope their message of forging a new path for the Middle East carries some weight. [Read More]
  • Amherst Bulletin
    January 12, 2007
    Former foes join now for peace
    Bob Dunn
    Two former combatants from opposing sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will speak together in Amherst this month about why they now favor a peaceful resolution. Elik Elhanan, a former Israeli soldier, and Sulaiman Al Hamri, a former Palestinian freedom fighter and Israeli prisoner, are among the founders of Combatants for Peace, a year-old organization that advocates for non-violent methods for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Read More]

  • The Jewish Advocate (MA)
    May 16, 2003
    Local Group Advancing Plan to Relocate Settlers
    A Cambridge-based group plans to launch a petition drive next week to garner support for a new policy to raise funds to relocate settlers from the West Bank and Gaza...
    [read more]

  • The Daily Hampshire Gazette
    April 3, 2003
    Local Jewish people seeking an avenue to support Israel even as they criticize its government's policies have organ, Massachusetts...
    [read more]

Chapter Newsletters
November 2004

Nothing found for Btvshalom Org Chapters W_Massachusetts

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.