A History of North American Jewish Peace Groups
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian
Given that promoting peace is a basic Jewish value, why does the Torah exhort us not only to "seek peace" but also to "pursue it?" Tradition teaches that this is because peace is so essential to human life that it is not enough to create peace wherever we live. We must follow opportunities for peace making wherever they can be found. How much more so is this true for North American Jews, who are obligated to pursue the peace in Israel? There is actually a long history of this. In this session, we will view our own work for peace and justice within the historical context of other North American Jews who went out on a limb to promote peace between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East, beginning with peace groups from the pre-State days. Mixing historical research with our shared personal histories, we will both learn from the past and develop a better understanding of our long, shared legacy.
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