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[BTvS-Boston] Meeting With Senator Kennedy's Office

1) REPORT ON BRIT TZEDEK DELEGATION'S VISIT TO SENATOR KENNEDY'S
OFFICE

2) 3 IMPORTANT BRIT TZEDEK BOSTON CHAPTER EVENTS THIS WEEK

* Wednesday, September 28 -- 7:30 pm -- "Land of the Settlers:
Video Diary of a Worried Israeli Journalist" -- discussion and
screening (highlights) with director Chaim Yavin.

* Thursday, September 29 -- Two talks by Eliezer Yaari, Director
General, New Israel Fund, Jerusalem Office.
-- 12:30 pm -- "Post-Disengagement: Israel Confronts its
Cultural Divide"
-- 7 pm -- "Maintaining a Civil Discourse After Disengagement"

__________________________________________________________________________

1) REPORT ON BRIT TZEDEK DELEGATION'S VISIT TO SENATOR KENNEDY'S
OFFICE

On August l0th, a Brit Tzedek delegation coordinated by Donna
Spiegelman and Diane Balser met with Thomas Crohan,
Congressional Aide to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in the Senator's
offices at the JFK Federal Building in downtown Boston.

The delegation consisted of representatives of Brit Tzedek from
different parts of Massachusetts, including Cambridge residents
Diane Balser, national CEO; Donna Spiegelman, chair of our local
and national membership and outreach committees; and Herb
Kelman, a leading analyst and specialist in second track
negotiations, Weatherhead Center, Harvard University; Newton
residents David Strauss, leader of our Congressional District 4
advocacy team, and Rabbi Barbara Penzner of Temple Hillel B'nai
Torah, West Roxbury; Sharon resident and Boston chapter activist
Bob Baseman; Northampton resident, Western MA chapter activist
and retired Foreign Service Officer Joel Spiro; and Brookline
resident, national board member and director of the graduate
programs in dispute resolution, U Mass Boston, David Matz.

It was a very cordial meeting. We presented Thomas Crohan with
the latest Brit Tzedek campaign--Don't Let Gaza Fail--a history
of our advocacy efforts in Massachusetts and in the country and
an overview of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom. Everyone including Mr.
Crohan was given an up-to-date folder with further information
on these topics. Each delegate spoke to general issues
pertaining to the present situation, hopes and difficulties, as
well as their viewpoint as an active American Jew on this issue.
Each person spoke well and intelligently. Rabbi Penzner's
remarks were of great interest, as she had returned from an
extended stay in the region just a few weeks before our meeting.
Mr. Crohan seemed genuinely interested in hearing about specific
smaller and potentially less controversial projects that the
Senator could help with.

We encouraged Senator Edward Kennedy, despite the fact that he
is not on Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to play a visible
leading role strengthening U.S. engagement in peace efforts and
movement towards the negotiating table of Israeli and
Palestinian leadership. Kennedy has not been that active on the
issue, to date. Crohan said that Kennedy often followed his cues
from Senate Foreign relations committee members Biden (D-DL),
Kerry (D-MA) and Lugar (D-IN).

Thomas Crohan was fully supportive of our envoy initiative. He
was quite impressed with our numbers--over 31,000 supporters
nationwide, and over 3000 in MA, and inquired as to how we had
achieved such success over such a short period of time. He asked
to be added to our national and local listservs, so he can stay
informed of our work (this has been done).

We requested a meeting with a larger delegation from Brit Tzedek
v'Shalom and Senator Kennedy. Crohan suggested first (before we
asked) that Kennedy have a long overdue meeting with Jewish
leadership including us and then at the end of the meeting
suggested the possibility of meeting only with us.

Diane Balser sent a follow-up thank you letter and will work to
arrange the follow-up meeting with the Senator. To be continued.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

2) REMINDER: 3 IMPORTANT BRIT TZEDEK BOSTON CHAPTER EVENTS THIS
WEEK

"Land of the Settlers": Video Diary of a Worried Israeli
Journalist

Discussion and screening (highlights) with the director of this
acclaimed documentary.

Chaim Yavin, Israel Television, Evening News Anchor

Wednesday, September 28
7:30 - 9:30 pm
Temple Beth Zion
1566 Beacon Street, Brookline
For directions: http://www.tbzbrookline.org/map.html

Co-sponsored by Workmen's Circle, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the
Tikkun Community, Americans for Peace Now, Temple B'nai Brith
(Somerville), Congregation Dorshei Tzedek (West Newton), and
Temple Hillel B'nai Torah (West Roxbury).

__________________________________________________________________________

Two Talks by Eliezer Yaari, Director General, New Israel Fund,
Jerusalem Office

"Post-Disengagement: Israel Confronts its Cultural Divide"

Thursday, September 29
12:30 - 1:30 PM
126 High Street, Boston

Brown bag lunch at the Jewish Community Relations Council
co-sponsored with the NIF by the JCRC and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.
Drinks and dessert are provided by JCRC.
Please RSVP to Tamar Miller (tamar@nif.org).

-----

"Maintaining a Civil Discourse After Disengagement"

Thursday, September 29
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Congregation B'nai Brith
201 Central Street, Somerville
(There is parking room in the Temple parking lot, as well as on
Broadway, the main road running perpendicular to Central St.)

Co-sponsored with the NIF by Temple B'nai Brith and Brit Tzedek
v'Shalom.
Please RSVP to Tamar Miller (tamar@nif.org).

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