Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek, 

As we celebrate Chanukah this year, let us be grateful that miracles are still possible. Three years ago, most people thought that building a grassroots Jewish peace movement in the US was impossible. Yet, Brit Tzedek is today over 30,000 people and 32 chapters strong nationwide.

As you distribute your Chanukah gelt, please consider the miracle of Brit Tzedek that you’ve helped make happen and the potential still to be realized as we continue to organize a new Jewish movement. Help Brit Tzedek make the American Jewish community the bold advocate for peace that Israelis and Palestinians desire. Please give as generously as you can.

With your support, we’ve accomplished a great deal this year:

  • In December, during its first weeks in business, our new Washington, DC office spearheaded a mass mobilization in support of the Hyde-Capps letter, a congressional initiative commending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her role in brokering an Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the Rafah border-crossing. Under the guidance of the Washington office, Brit Tzedek’s grassroots constituency contacted the offices of 181 Congressional representatives, 108 of whom signed on to the letter. Our chapters’ impact was acknowledged from Rhode Island to California, in many cases with personal notes or calls from the Congressional staff.

  • In May, our chapters held 50 meetings with elected representatives in their district offices. Then, in June, 60 Brit Tzedek members gathered in Washington for a day of high-level briefings followed by meetings with administration officials and congressional members and staffers.

  • A week later, a record 100 US Representatives heeded our call by voting against imposing restrictions on aid to the Palestinians. Many key Jewish leaders supported Brit Tzedek’s position, including Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Howard Berman (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Steve Rothman (D-NJ), and Robert Wexler (D-FL).

  • Many of our chapters became increasingly involved in their local Jewish Community Relations Councils and Federations.

  • In October, our North Carolina chapter organized a Brit Tzedek-designed listening project that was attended by local leaders from a broad spectrum of organizations including the Jewish Federation, AIPAC, and Tikkun.

  • In February, we held a national conference in New York City that drew nearly 700 participants from across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel. Keynote speakers included MK Colette Avital, J.J. Goldberg, Amjad Atallah, the late Rabbi Balfour Brickner, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, and Saffiya Shillo. Over 40 workshops were led by leading scholars, politicians, and activists.

  • We brought important Israeli and Palestinian activists and opinion leaders to our Jewish communities, including Geneva Accord co-architect Yossi Beilin, Breaking the Silence organizers Avichay Sharon and Noam Chayut, pilot refuser Yonatan Shapira, American Task Force on Palestine executive director Rafi Dajani, and Chaim Yavin (known as Israel’s “Walter Cronkite”).

But to sustain our work, we need your support now. You can contribute online at https://secure.btvshalom.org/index_ga.shtml.

With your help in the coming year we can:

  • Build our new Washington, DC office into an influential pro-Israel, pro-peace presence on Capitol Hill.

  • Bring Brit Tzedek activists to Capitol Hill several times a year to urge active US engagement in facilitating the peace process.

  • Organize regional conferences in San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC to train our activists in effective community mobilization skills.

There are no quick fixes; peacemaking requires a sustained effort. We are asking you to support our efforts to broaden and deepen our outreach to Jews throughout the US. Please give as generously as you can, be it $50 or $5,000 or more. Keep the miracle rolling.

I extend my personal best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy Chanukah and to the entire world for a peaceful new year.

Chag sameach,

Marcia Freedman
President

P.S. The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 allows some higher-income taxpayers to qualify for new tax breaks for donations given to any tax-exempt public charity (excluding donor-advised funds) before January 1, 2006. To learn more see: http://www.independentsector.org/programs/gr/relief.html

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206
info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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