Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Executive Director Updates
Building Our Grassroots Base
Thurday, March 18, 2004
Dear Members and Supporters,
Our current organizational focus is on building our grassroots base by developing
and strengthening our chapters. We realize if we are to have a significant impact
on U.S. policy in the Middle East, we must cultivate a more substantial and ever-growing
network of supporters from across the country willing to commit the necessary
time and money to sustain our work. In this update, the work of Brit Tzedek chapters
in Seattle and Olympia, Washington is highlighted. To get information about your
local chapter, email email@example.com
This letter is followed by a list of volunteer opportunities within Brit Tzedek.
As a young, grassroots organization, we depend on volunteers among you to help
us grow and flourish. Please consider donating your time and talents to Brit
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: 50% OF AREA RABBIS SIGN BRIT TZEDEK'S CALL
The Seattle chapter has been particularly successful in its outreach to Jewish
community leaders. As a result of this chapter's persistent Efforts in cultivating
and maintaining these relationships, fifty percent of the Seattle rabbis in the
Washington Coalition of Rabbis (Seattle area Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist
and Renewal rabbis) signed Brit Tzedek's Call to Bring the Settlers Home.
Several leaders from within the Seattle Jewish Federation have also added their
names to the Call. On the advocacy front, the chapter has developed a good working
relationship with Congressional Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) and is in
regular contact with his staff about Israeli-Palestinian policy issues. Representative
McDermott recently co-sponsored House Resolution 479, which embraces efforts
to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON CHAPTER PROMOTING DIALOGUE IN A CONFLICTED COMMUNITY
Members of the Olympia Brit Tzedek chapter participated in an effort to help
community members and college students learn more about the conflict and share
their feelings and concerns. They assisted Evergreen State College in selecting
speakers for a lecture series that included Israelis, Palestinians and others.
These lectures, which attracted upwards of 300 people in this small community,
were followed by listening groups whose facilitators included Brit Tzedek members.
The chapter hopes that continuing dialogue will transform a potentially polarizing
situation into one in which people come to better understand one another and
promote peaceful efforts to resolve the conflict. (Olympia is the college and
hometown of Rachel Corrie, the International Solidarity Movement activist who
was tragically killed in Gaza last year.) Olympia chapter advocacy likely influenced
the decision of Congressional Representative Brian Baird (D-WA) to co-sponsor
House Resolution 479.
NEW BRIT TZEDEK STAFF
A warm welcome to our new staff: Administrative Assistant Leila Forouzan, Bookkeeper
Julia Goode and Internet Specialist Brian Beasley.
HOUSE MEETING GUIDELINES
Brit Tzedek has recently completed both a comprehensive guide to "Spirit of Geneva" House
Meetings and our long-awaited videotape including footage from Geneva, Switzerland.
If you would like to host a House Meeting, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
TIKKUN TEACH-IN TO CONGRESS
Tikkun will hold its national Teach-In to Congress April 25-27 at the Sheraton
Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. This three day conference culminates
with meetings on the Hill with Congressional members and/or their staff. The
Tikkun community invites everyone interested to "join some of America's most
creative policy experts, social change activists, and religious and spiritual
leaders as we challenge American politics and media to take a new path beyond
militarism to personal and global security." For more information, go to www.tikkun.org
BRIT TZEDEK TRAINING FOR JEWISH CONGRESSIONAL STAFFERS
Our Washington, DC chapter in conjunction with the National Advocacy and Public
Policy Committee, is organizing a training session targeted towards Jewish Congressional
staffers on policy issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Aliza Becker, Executive Director
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace