Rabbinic Call Echoes Heard Across the Nation and the World

The great faith that change is possible is the central message of our Yamim Noraim, our Days of Awe. May we have no less faith that a new way is possible in the Middle East, that the vigorous, nonviolent pursuit of peace is not a naïve dream, but our only real hope.
   --A Rabbinic Call to the American Jewish Community

Todah rabah (thank you very much) to the more than 300 rabbis and cantors who signed "A Rabbinic Call to the American Jewish Community:  Seek Peace and Pursue It" and to all of our supporters who encouraged them to do so.  Please thank any rabbis or cantors you know who signed on for standing up for Israel and for peace.

Organized by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom's Rabbinic Cabinet, the call urges "the U.S. administration to re-engage with all of the important players in this conflict, including Iran and Syria, and to use its influence to promote political solutions rather than polarization and conflict." The central message of the call was echoed in Israel this past week in a petition, "The Order of the Day: Preventing the Next War" (English) (Hebrew), signed by 68 renowned Israeli authors, academics and retired generals including authors Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua, Nobel prize winner Aaron Ciechanover and former head of military intelligence General (Ret.) Shlomo Gazit. The petition calls on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to open peace negotiations with the Hamas-led Palestinian government, Syria, and Lebanon. 

Seek Peace and Pursue It along with the complete list of signers was printed in the September 22, 2006 edition of the Forward (see page 8). View the pdf here. Thank you to everyone who donated towards the purchase of the ad.  Together, we raised $3000 towards its publication.

The call has generated publicity on the airwaves, in the press and in synagogues nationwide. Rabbis John Friedman (Durham), Joshua Levine-Grater (Los Angeles), Julie Saxe-Taller (San Francisco), Toba Spitzer (Boston), and Joseph Wolf (Portland, OR) appeared on nine radio talk shows to discuss the call including an interview with Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News Service that was distributed to 300 stations nationwide.  We will be posting transcripts of these shows on our website in the near future.

Rabbis Herbert Bronstein (Chicago), John Friedman (Durham), and Steven B. Jacobs (Los Angeles) wrote pieces inspired by the call. We have heard from a number of rabbis who are writing High Holiday sermons echoing the message of the call. If your rabbi gave a relevant sermon on Israel, please urge him or her to send a copy to the chair of Brit Tzedek's Rabbinic Cabinet, Rabbi John Friedman, at rabbifriedman@btvshalom.org.  We will be sharing a number of these sermons internally with the Cabinet members and on our website in the future.

We always welcome new members to our Rabbinic Cabinet.  Please feel free to invite any rabbis or cantors you know who are not already members. (For more information, contact rabbifriedman@btvshalom.org.)

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

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