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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace


AMERICAN JEWS FOR A JUST PEACE: RE-CLAIMING OUR COMMUNITY'S PRINCIPLES APRIL 26-29, 2002, WASHINGTON, DC

Friday, April 26:

4:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Registration Table
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Buffet Dinner Ha-Motzi and Kiddush
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Shabbat Evening Services
Traditional / Egalitarian Services, Rabbi David Seidenberg
Readings and discussion for secular Jews, Irena Klepsifz
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Conference Welcome & Brief Introductory Remarks, Nicole Sorger "Jewish Identity, Israel, and Activism", Rabbi Arthur Waskow Small group discussions about Jewish identity.

Saturday, April 27:

8:00 am - 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Services
8:00 am - 9 am Participatory Torah Study with Rabbi Arthur Waskow
9:00 am - 10:30 am Shabbat Morning Services
Jewish Renewal Service, Phyllis Berman and Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Traditional / Egalitarian Services, Alana Suskin
Readings and discussion for secular Jews, Irena Klepsifz
10:30 am - 12:15 pm - Opening Session
Welcome and Conference Overview, Ira Grupper
Overview of the goals and strategies of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Aliza Becker
Overview of current political & diplomatic situation in Israel and Palestine, Dr. Don Peretz
A historical introduction to the Jewish Peace Movement: "Lessons Learned from Our Successes & Failures", Cherie Brown
Proposed structure, and proposed electoral process of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Donna Spiegelman
D'var Torah, David Albert.
12:30 pm -1:30 pm - Shabbat Lunch

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm Workshops Session 1:
    Back to Basics:
  1. Israeli-Arab Conflict 101: A Brief History of the Conflict. Trying to demythologize the origins and development of the Israeli-Arab conflict and looking at some of the key historical events and the revolution that has occurred as a result of the rewriting of Israel history by the new historians over the past generation. (Dr. Don Peretz, Professor-Emeritus, SUNY-Binghamton)
  2. The History of Israeli and Palestinian Peace Groups. Examining the history of Jewish peace movements/scholars/activists. Trying to understand the wide variety of Israeli peace groups, their varying agendas, ideologies, and goals. (Carolyn Toll Oppenheim, Friends of Open House)
    Outreach:
  3. Outreaching to Jews: How to Build Grassroots Jewish peace groups. A panel discussion about lessons learned in building Jewish peace groups. (Facilitator: Aliza Becker, Jewish Peace Forum)
  4. Talking to Jews about Final Status Issues. Are there practical compromises that both Jews and Palestinians can accept on Palestinian right of return, borders, and Jerusalem (Dr. Jerome Segal, University of Maryland, Jewish Peace Lobby)
  5. Nuts and Bolts of the Mainstream Jewish Community Outreaching to Jewish community leaders. How do we reach out and appeal to the leader of our synagogues, federations, Hillels and other community organizations in the Jewish community. (Reena Bernards, The Dialogue Project) read more
    Techniques:
  6. Outreaching to local media outlets: Letters to the Editor, Op-ed pieces, speaking with reporters, writing and distributing press releases. What are the media's biases? And how do we use the media and its biases to our advantage? A panel of professional journalists.
  7. Outreaching with Traditional Jewish motifs. Using the Jewish tradition creatively to appeal to Jewish moral sensibilities of religious Jews about the Middle East. This will include an examination of how to do creative Jewish programming around the themes of Jewish holidays, such as the Peace Seder (Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Shalom Center, Break the Silence)
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Workshops Session Session 2:
    Back to Basics:
  1. Living with Fear, Part 1: Living under Occupation: What does it mean to live under Occupation? Understanding what the Occupation means in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and how to support the Palestinians living under Occupation (Philip Davies, Vice-President of American Near East Refugee Aid)
  2. US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: How and why does the US make the decisions that it does? Why does the US always seem to support Israel even when it goes against its most obvious strategic interest in the region, oil? How much does the Jewish community matter to the making of Middle East Policy? What can we do to change American foreign policy? (David Albert, University of Texas -Austin)
    Outreach:
  3. Speaking about Israel Experiences. Trips to Israel with peace delegations to learn what is going on and how to use these to use these experiences effectively to speak to American Jews about Israel. (Ira Grupper, Louisville Committee for Israeli/Palestinian States, Danielle Luttenberg, Environmental Organizer, Boston, MA)
  4. Feminist Peace Movement - US and Israel. Why do women need their own groups? Do women have a special and different relationship to peace work? What are the US and Israeli women's peace movements and how can we support them? How does sexism come up in mixed gender work and how can we support each other in combating it? (Donna Spiegelman, Boston Women in Black and Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring; Diane Balser, Boston Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring)
  5. Jewish Coalition Building. A skill-building session on how to listen to Jews that we don't agree with and build relationships with them and setting up listening projects to shift attitudes of mainstream Jews. (Cherie Brown, National Coalition Building Institute, Break the Silence, Tikkun Community) read more
  6. "Words of Justice, Words of War, Paths of Peace: Torah as a Source of Conflict and Reconciliation". How can we find a holistic relationship to the Torah's contradictory message about loving the stranger and conquering the land? This workshop will explore: talking more clearly about Torah ideals of justice and love for all people; taking ownership of ideas about chosenness and the "promised land"; communicating our love for the Jewish people in a way that will be heard by those in the community who disagree with us. (Rabbi David Seidenberg, Pursue the Peace, Ohalah, Rabbinical Assembly)
    Techniques:
  7. Building Alliances between Christians and Muslims. A panel discussion on how coalitions are constructed and maintained
5:15 pm - 6:45 pm Workshops Session 3:
    Back to Basics:
  1. Living with Fear, Part 2: Living with Terrorism. What does it mean to lose your child to terrorist attack or in the Israel Defense Forces? What does it mean to live with this kind of fear on a daily basis? What does it mean when riding a bus is a risky activity? (Charles Lenchner, Jewish for Peace in Palestine and Israel; Alana Suskin, University of Judaism)
  2. Christian-Jewish Relations. How do Christians view the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict? How does the peace work impact Jewish-Christian dialogue? How has 9/11 effected Jewish-Christian relations? (Rabbi Charles Arian, Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies)
    Outreach:
  3. Presenting a pro-peace and pro-Israel perspective. What language, concepts, framing techniques, and rhetorical mechanisms can be used for addressing the tough questions that we are always asked. How do we talk to Jews about terrorism, refugees, security, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust? How do we empathize with Jewish fears while challenge moral sensibilities? (David Albert, University of Texas- Austin; Minnie Berman, New York City Women in Black)
  4. Healing the scars of internalized oppression. 1) Participants will have a chance to examine their less than positive feelings about other Jews, particularly mainstream Jews---and work to heal those feelings so we can reach out in our organizing work to many different groups of Jews. 2) We all have a lot of grief about what's happening in the Middle East now that makes it hard to keep thinking. Participants will also have a chance to grieve about the current crisis and clear our minds to continue thinking well. (Cherie Brown, National Coalition Building Institute, Break the Silence, Tikkun Community. Aliza Becker, Jewish Peace Forum)
  5. Special workshop with BZ Goldberg. BZ Goldberg is the co- producer/co-director of the academy award nominated documentary, "Promises". Techniques:
  6. Panel on Lobbying. Techniques for lobbying that can successfully outreach to national and local political leaders. read more
  7. Courage to Refuse Campaign. A report on a campaign to support Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (Steven Feurstein, Not in My Name; Yossi Khen, Women and Men in Black in Los Angles.)
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Lobbying and Optional Sessions
  1. Lobbying Briefing. This session is designed to provide those who will be lobbying on Monday with the specific lobbying information and materials that they will need in order to lobby member of Congress effectively. (Josh Ruebner, Jewish for Peace in Palestine and Israel, Just Peace Consulting)
  2. Health and Human Rights in Israel and Palestine. (Shulamit Aloni; Donna Spiegelman, Boston Women in Black and Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring)
  3. Video screening of "Children of Abraham", Compassionate Listening Project.
8:30 pm-11:00 pm Evening Fundraising Dinner
Havdalah Service
Shulamit Aloni, Former Meretz Chair, Former Israeli Minister of Education
BZ Goldberg, co- producer/co-director of "Promises"
Producer of "Promises" documentary
Fady El Salameen, Seeds of Peace

Sunday, April 28:

9:00am - 10:45 am - Discussion of the Organizational Structure, Vision, and Goals of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.
11:00 am - 12:15 pm - Elections. Candidates for the eight slots on the national board will be nominated at this time.
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Lunch in regional networking groups. New England, Mid Atlantic, South, Midwest, West Coast, Southwest
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm Brit Tzedek v'Shalom Committee Meetings. Each committee will develop an action plan with its short and long-term goals. Select permanent committee leaders and assign specific roles and projects to individual committee members.

Lobbying Committee
•  Supporting local lobbying campaigns
•  Connecting local constituents to Federal lobbying campaigns
•  Building a national database to support Federal lobbying initiatives

Fundraising and Finance Committee
•  Creating a database of funding sources for peace work
•  Organizing grant-writing subcommittee
•  Organizing fundraising with philanthropists
•  Manage the money
•  Prepare the annual budget

Education / Training Committee
•  Coordinating educational campaigns and materials
•  Collecting bibliographies and syllabi
•  Creating a database of available speakers on a variety of topics
•  Training subcommittee - developing methods of training activists

Media Committee
•  Promoting new organization in local media
•  Promoting new organization in national media
•  Rapid response subcommittee

Petitions Committee
•  Build and maintain Web Page

Membership / Outreach Committee
•  Membership expansion among existing activists and peace groups
•  Outreach among Jews affiliated with Hillels, synagogues & Federations

Courage to Refuse Campaign
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom delegations to the Middle East
3:00 pm - 3:45 pm: Committee Report-backs.
3:45 - 4:15 Sign-ups
4:15 - 4:30 Closing

Monday, April 29:

8:30 am - 12:00 pm Lobbying Members of Congress on Capitol Hill
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch on Capitol Hill.
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