Reminder: Tonight Ray
Hanania and Saffiya Shillo will speak on "Strengthening the
Moderate Voice for Peace in the Palestinian American Community"
at 9:30pm EST as part of our conference call series "Palestinian
Perspectives on the post-Arafat Political Landscape." For more information.
By Aliza Becker, Executive
BRIT TZEDEK GROWS MORE THAN
grassroots and Internet-based outreach in support of the Open Letter from American Jews to the Next
President has helped to
increase our base of members and supporters dramatically. In
just over two years, we have grown from 200 founding members to
over 23,000 nationwide. Mazel tov and thank
OPEN LETTER PRESENTED
TO SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR TODAY
Today, the Open
Letter from American Jews to the Next President signed by
over 8000 American Jews was hand-delivered to Elliot
Abrams, the head of Middle East
affairs for the U.S. National Security Council, in a meeting with
representatives of the eight American Jewish organizations that
mobilized support for the letter.
The meeting between Abrams and the community leaders
occurred on November 30, 2004, on the eve of Abrams’ trip
with National Security Advisor appointee, Stephen Hadley to the
Middle East to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian
“This meeting represented an
important preliminary exchange of ideas, during which we clearly
conveyed our support for the vigorous pursuit of a negotiated
settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” says Brit
Tzedek Vice President Diane Balser, who attended the meeting.
“We expressed the importance of the appointment of a high
level envoy to demonstrate the seriousness of the
Administration’s commitment to facilitating a resolution
to the conflict.”
Over 85% of these signatures were
gathered by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, due in large part to a
substantial Internet outreach campaign and good old-fashioned
grassroots organizing. Brit Tzedek v'Shalom chapters across the
country have collected signatures and spread the call for U.S.
reengagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in numerous and
creative ways. Chapters have held house parties, attended local
Jewish events, petitioned at street corners, gathered
endorsements from prominent Jewish members of their community
and organized public events to promote the Open
The Boston, Chicago,
Connecticut, Durham/Chapel Hill, Kansas City, Minnesota, San
Francisco Bay Area, St. Louis, Kansas City and Minneapolis
chapters each placed ads soliciting support for the Open Letter
in the their local Jewish newspapers.
SAYS: 'NOW IS THE TIME' IN SEVEN-CITY SPEAKING
prominent peace activist and former Deputy Speaker of the
Knesset, is in the midst of a two-month, seven-city speaking
tour on behalf of Brit Tzedek. Addressing audiences across the country in
synagogues, Jewish Community Centers and universities, Chazan
speaks on "The Future
of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State."
Upcoming speaking engagements:
December 4, 2004--LOS
Naomi Chazan will speak at a lunch following Shabbat
services at the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, 1434 N.
Altadena Drive, Pasadena. Services begin at 9 am and lunch will
follow at approximately noon. This event is free and open to the
public. For more information, call the
synagogue at (626) 798-1161 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
5, 2004--SAN FRANCISCO
Naomi Chazan will speak at Stern Hall in Temple
Sinai, 2808 Summit Street, Oakland at 7:00pm. For more
information, contact email@example.com.
Chazan's appearances have garnered
significant media coverage from broadcast and print media alike.
In Chicago, she was interviewed at length by the local ABC and
CBS affiliates, and in Bloomington by the local CBS affiliate. A
video-recording of her presentation will be broadcast on a
Madison Community Television (Channel 4) in two parts on
December 4 and 11 at 5:00pm. A list of newspaper stories
Chazan: Don't Miss Opening for Peace, Former Israeli
Lawmaker Cites Rare Opportunity by Jan Jaben-Eilon in the Atlanta Jewish
Times, November 19, 2004.
Knesset speaker: Disengage, Naomi Chazan Says
Palestinian State Necessary for Peace by Rick Newkirk in the Indiana Daily Student,
November 8, 2004.
"Now is the time:" Former member of
Israeli Knesset Sees Chance for Peace in Middle
Jon Reiter, Herald-Times,
November 8, 2004.
Memorial Service Set to Honor the Memory of Yitzchak
Rabin by Kenneth L.R. Patchen in the
Highland Park News, October 28,
MITZNA SPEAKS TO OVER 1,800
PEOPLE IN THREE-DAY TRIP TO BAY AREA
The San Francisco Bay
Area chapter recently hosted Member of Knesset (Labor) Amram Mitzna.
In less than three days, Mitzna directly
addressed 1,800 people at six events, in addition to which he
headlined a breakfast meeting with executives of the World
Affairs Council. The six events included appearances at three
Bay Area synagogues: Conservative Congregation Beth Sholom,
Reform Temple Isaiah, and Reform Congregation Emanu-El in San
Mitzna's appearance at
San Francisco State University was particularly significant
because the campus has been a flashpoint for tensions about the
Middle East for the last two decades. Sponsored by the Jewish
Studies Program, this event had the largest turnout that
department has has seen in ten years. Sixty faculty, students
and staff listened intently and participated in a candid and
engaging question and answer session
Gaza Plan, Arafat Death Mark New Era, Says Labor
Alexandra J. Wall in J., The Jewish News Weekly of Northern
California, November 19, 2004.
MADISON, WI CHAPTER BRINGS TOGETHER DIVIDED JEWISH
Wisconsin was in the national spotlight when the Jewish
community became bitterly divided over a City Council resolution
that would have made Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, a sister
city. Shortly after the final vote (the resolution was
defeated), the Madison chapter contributed to healing the rift
by hosting a Brit Tzedek-designed listening project at a local
synagogue in which “both sides” had the opportunity
to thoughtfully hear one another and talk about Israel, the
Palestinians and how to bring peace to the region.
LOUISVILLE AND SEATTLE CHAPTERS CO-SPONSOR
Tzedek’s Chicago and Seattle chapters co-sponsored events
featuring leading Israeli peace activist and Brit Tzedek
Advisory Committee member Gila Svirsky along with Palestinian
peace activists Hidaya Najmi and Marianne Albina. The Louisville chapter
co-sponsored an event that featured Israeli Yossi Alpher,
co-editor of the online newsletter bitterlemons.org and Ziad
Abu-Sayyad, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for
Jerusalem. In Chicago, the Brit Tzedek chapter joined Americans
for Peace Now and several moderate Palestinian organizations in
co-sponsoring Americans for Peace Now founder and Policy
Director Mark Rosenblum and former advisor to the UN Special
Counsel Omar Dajani.
Palestinians-Jews Explore Peace Options
Beyond US Elections by Ray Hanania
in Media Monitors Network on October 7,
BRIT TZEDEK LEADERSHIP BRINGS OUR MESSAGE TO NATIONAL AND
President Marcia Freedman presented
Brit Tzedek’s principles and goals in a speech at the U.N.
International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the
Palestinian People. The conference theme was "Ending the
occupation -- a key prerequisite for achieving peace in the
Middle East." For news coverage of the conference's
proceedings, including Freedman's speech, go to UN Civil Society Meeting Seeks to End Israeli
Occupation of Palestine in UN News Service on September 16,
Last week Freedman visited
the Pacific Northwest chapters, which include Seattle, Portland
and Olympia. During this trip, she spoke at three synagogues,
two universities and three chapter meetings. In Portland, she was interviewed on two
community radio shows, one on a public affairs show and the
other on a program called "The Women's
Show." In addition, one of her Portland speeches was taped and
will be broadcast on community radio in both Portland and
Astoria. There are several news articles pending about
Freedman’s visit, which we will post as they become
Vice-President Diane Balser was a
featured speaker at the Union of Progressive Zionists founding
conference, where she spoke about the power of young people to
effect change through grassroots social justice movements. Diane
and National Chapter Organizer Carinne Luck
also presented at several workshops at the conference. The UPZ
is a broad network of students whose goal is to activate a
progressive Zionist presence on campuses across North
Aliza Becker recently conducted a workshop
session entitled, "Loving Israel, Questioning Its Policies," at
the national KESHER College Convention in Evanston, Illinois
which was sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism.
Steve Masters, Chair of the Advocacy and
Public Policy Committee, recently spoke at three different
events in northern New Jersey.
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and
11 E. Adams Street, Ste 707
Phone: (312) 341-1205
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