Dear Brit Tzedek Supporter,

I write to you with great hope on the possibilities for peace.

We will soon have a new Administration, one that cannot afford to wait seven years to take steps toward a peace agreement and sustain it with a half-hearted commitment. I also write with a broken heart from the ongoing violence; the untimely deaths; and the lingering trauma.  

It is at times like this that we must remember that our voices, the voices of American Jews who care about peace for Israel, are most needed.  Please donate now.

I recently led a Brit Tzedek delegation to Israel and the West Bank in a joint tour with Meretz USA.  We met with Israel's leading peace and human rights activists, along with members of Knesset and both the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers. We heard the same refrain over and over again: "We need to hear from American Jews now more than ever with your strong and unwavering support for the peace process."

Please help Brit Tzedek spread our message of hope through your generous donation.

"We need your loud and vocal support as American Jews for the peace process" is also what I hear again and again when I visit with our allies in Congress.  With your help we can significantly grow our grassroots and bolster the political will of Congress and the Administration to focus the parties on reaching a peace agreement.

Your support for the work of Brit Tzedek will lay the foundation for a stronger and more resilient commitment to peace from Congress and the Administration.

In one of my favorite teachings for Passover from his "Seder For The Children of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah." Rabbi Arthur Waskow eloquently relates our vision for peace with traditional ritual.

Why do we break the matzah in two? Because the bread of affliction becomes the bread of freedom --when we share it. Because the Land that gives bread to two peoples must be divided in two, so that both peoples may eat of it. So long as one people grasps the whole land, it is a land of affliction, and no one is nourished by it. When each people can eat from part of the Land, it will become a land of freedom.

At each of our seders, we will once again ponder the questions raised by the four types of children. Rabbi Waskow poses four different questions:

The angry child asks:

"Why should I compromise any further when compromise
over Gaza has brought us thousands of rockets?"

The naive child asks:

"Why can't we just love each other?"

The frightened child asks:

"How can I be safe?"

The wise child asks:

"How can we take the steps that walk in peace, toward peace?"

To the angry child we say:  We must not let our justified anger at attacks on innocents blind us from seeking true security through negotiations. Indeed since 2007 Brit Tzedek has called on the U.S. to support a negotiated cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, a position now being held by 64% of Israelis.

To the naïve child we say: Listen to the voices of Israeli and Palestinian peoples and from them you shall learn.  In March Brit Tzedek sponsored an 11-city tour with the Israeli and Palestinian co-directors of the award-winning think tank: Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information. In February we sponsored a tour by veteran Israeli soldiers from Breaking the Silence about their service during the second Intifadah.

To the frightened child we say: Listen to the voices of the more than 1,000 rabbis and cantors from across the denominational spectrum, from Reform to Orthodox who support our peace initiatives.

To the wise child we say:  Come join us in Washington, DC June 21-24 to become a better advocate for peace and bring a truly pro-Israel message to Congress and the Administration.

Please honor us this Passover with your gift to support justice and peace.

B'shanah haba'ah b'yerushalayim malei shalom -- Next year may we all find a Jerusalem filled with peace,

Steve Masters

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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