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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 15, 2006

300 RABBIS CALL ON JEWISH COMMUNITY

TO "SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT"

CHICAGO -- More than three-hundred rabbis and cantors from across the country today urged the American Jewish community to use the upcoming High Holy Days to actively pursue peace in the Middle East in a rabbinic call released today by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace.

The full text of "Seek Peace and Pursue It: A Rabbinic Call to the American Jewish Community" and a list of signers follows this release.

In the call, the rabbis and cantors invoke High Holy Day traditions to encourage American Jews to, in the words of Psalm 34, "seek peace and pursue it," underscoring that "peace is not merely the cessation of war, but something that must be actively pursued."

Specifically, the call cites the tradition of teshuvah which is commonly understood to mean "repentance." The rabbis, however, draw instead on the term's literal definition to turn in this case to turn away from the violence that has defined Israel's relationship with her neighbors and to turn towards a "faith that a new way is possible in the Middle East, that the vigorous, nonviolent pursuit of peace is not a naieve dream, but our only real hope."

The signers urged the U.S administration to re-engage 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 call also applauds the international diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, expressing hope the ceasefire is just the first step in removing Hezbollah's military threat to Israel, strengthening the moderate forces of democratic process within Lebanon, and achieving a lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, including the Palestinian people.

"This has been a year of tremendous tumult, upset, sadness and fear for those of us who care deeply about Israel," said Rabbi John Friedman, who chairs Brit Tzedek's Rabbinic Council that spearheaded the campaign. "The concurrence of the cessation of hostilities with Lebanon and the High Holy Day season has allowed us a reprieve, a critical opportunity to rethink what role we as individuals and as a community can play in the coming year in charting a more peaceful and secure course for Israel's future," he added.

 

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:

SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT--as Psalm 34 so wisely states, peace is not merely the cessation of war, but something that must be actively pursued. This verse instructs those of us who love Israel and yearn for peace that the fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah must now be followed by a renewed commitment to a long-lasting diplomatic resolution of the conflict. The second Israel-Lebanon War has left families bereaved, neighborhoods destroyed, and serious questions in its wake. Israel, as well as its neighbors, cannot afford an ever-escalating renewal of violence.

SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT-- As rabbis, as Jews, as people who seek the welfare of Israel and the well-being of all people, we applaud the efforts of the U.N., the U.S. administration, and all of the members of the international community who worked for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. We pray that this is the first step in ongoing diplomatic efforts to remove Hezbollah's military threat to Israel, to strengthen the moderate forces of democratic process within Lebanon, and to achieve a lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, including the Palestinian people. We urge 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.

SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT-- As we enter the season of teshuvah, "turning," we hope that hearts that have been closed by hate can turn to compassion, and that minds set on violence and destruction can be turned to the reconstruction of societies damaged by war. 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.

Seek Peace and Pursue It Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions

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Signed by:

310 Signers to the Letter (by state)

Rabbi Dan Drew Franzen (Page, AZ)
Rabbi Allen B. Bennett (Alameda, CA)
Rabbi Carol Caine (Albany, CA)
Rabbi Paula Marcus (Aptos, CA)
Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man (Berkeley, CA)
Rabbi Kenneth Jay Weiss (Carlsbad, CA)
Rabbi Nancy Ester Wechsler-Azen (Carmichael, CA)
Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer (Claremont, CA)
Cantor Richard Schwartz (Culver City, CA)
Rabbi Dan Goldblatt (Danville, CA)
Rabbi Greg Wolfe (Davis, CA)
Rabbi Bridget Wynne (El Cerrito, CA)
Rabbi Eva Goldfinger (Encino, CA)
Rabbi Malka Mittelman La (Crescenta, CA)
Rabbi Roberto Graetz (Lafayette, CA)
Rabbi Judy Shanks (Lafayette, CA)
Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Lynn Brody (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Kenneth Chasen (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Lisa A. Edwards (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Susan Laemmle (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Stanley Levy (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh (Los Angeles, CA)
Cantor Steven Puzarne (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Suzanne Singer (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Jason Van Leeuwen (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Allen Krause Mission (Viejo, CA)
Rabbi Kennard Lipman (Napa, CA)
Rabbi Steven A. Chester (Oakland, CA)
Rabbi Diane A. Elliot (Oakland, CA)
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb (Ojai, CA)
Rabbi Sheryl Lynne Nosan-Blank (Orangevale, CA)
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben Pacific (Palisades, CA)
Rabbi Sheldon Joel Lewis (Palo Alto, CA)
Rabbi Joshua Levine-Grater (Pasadena, CA)
Rabbi David J. Cooper (Piedmont, CA)
Rabbi Judith Seid (Pleasanton, CA)
Rabbi Mark Hurvitz (Poway, CA)
Rabbi Tamar S. Malino (Poway, CA)
Rabbi Deborah R Prinz (Poway, CA)
Rabbi Hillel Cohn (San Bernardino, CA)
Rabbi Laurie Coskey (San Diego, CA)
Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan (San Diego, CA)
Rabbi Camille Shira Angel (San Francisco, CA)
Rabbi Pamela Frydman Baugh (San Francisco, CA)
Rabbi Aliza Berk (San Francisco, CA)
Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller (San Francisco, CA)
Rabbi Harry A Manhoff (San Leandro, CA)
Rabbi Lori Klein (Santa Cruz, CA)
Rabbi Chaim Leib Schneider (Santa Cruz, CA)
Rabbi Neil Seth Comess-Daniels (Santa Monica, CA)
Rabbi Beth Janus (Soquel, CA)
Rabbi Mychal Heather Copeland (Stanford, CA)
Rabbi Raphael W. Asher (Walnut Creek, CA)
Rabbi Steven Jacobs (Woodland Hills, CA)
Rabbi David J. Zucker (Aurora, CO)
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone (Boulder, CO)
Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav (Denver, CO)
Cantor Jonathan Lovins (Avon, CT)
Rabbi Herbert Brockman (Hamden, CT)
Rabbi Donna Berman (Hartford, CT)
Rabbi David Leipziger Teva (Middletown, CT)
Rabbi Lina N. Grazier-Zerbarini (New Haven, CT)
Rabbi Alan H Lovins (New Haven, CT)
Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen (New Haven, CT)
Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg (Waterford, CT)
Rabbi Andrea S. Cohen-Kiener (West Hartford, CT)
Rabbi Danielle Janine Upbin (Clearwater, FL)
Rabbi Erwin Allan Bloom (Davie, FL)
Rabbi Sheldon Isenberg (Gainesville, FL)
Rabbi David Kaiman (Gainesville, FL)
Rabbi Stephen Fisher Moch (Holiday, FL)
Rabbi David Osachy (Jacksonville, FL)
Rabbi Yoseif A Leevy (Lamont, FL)
Rabbi Peter E. Kasdan (Longboat Key, FL)
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian (Miami, FL)
Rabbi Paul J Menitoff (Palm Beach, FL)
Rabbi Susan Marks (Sarasota, FL)
Rabbi Joshua C. Lesser (Atlanta, GA)
Rabbi Scott Saulson (Atlanta, GA)
Rabbi Alvin M. Sugarman (Atlanta, GA)
Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon (Marietta, GA)
Rabbi Scott Aaron (Chicago, IL)
Cantor Michael Davis (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi David F. Sandmel (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi Peter S. Knobel (Evanston, IL)
Rabbi Andrea C London (Evanston, IL)
Rabbi Brant Rosen (Evanston, IL)
Rabbi Herbert Bronstein (Glencoe, IL)
Rabbi Robert J. Marx (Glencoe, IL)
Rabbi John A. Linder (Glenview, IL)
Rabbi Adam Chalom (Highland Park, IL)
Rabbi Bruce Elder (Highland Park, IL)
Rabbi Moti Rieber (Naperville, IL)
Rabbi Maralee Gordon (Woodstock IL)
Rabbi Stanley D. Halpern (Gary, IN)
Rabbi Dennis Sasso (Indianapolis, IN)
Rabbi Sandy Sasso (Indianapolis, IN)
Rabbi Lewis J. Weiss (Indianapolis, IN)
Rabbi Rachel Gartner (Richmond, IN)
Rabbi Mark Howard Levin (Overland Park, KS)
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer (Amherst, MA)
Rabbi Joyce Galaski (Amherst, MA)
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg (Amherst, MA)
Rabbi Elyse Wechterman (Attleboro, MA)
Rabbi Karen Landy (Brookline, MA)
Rabbi Rachel Schoenfeld (Brookline, MA)
Rabbi Andrew D. Vogel (Brookline, MA)
Rabbi Greg M. Epstein (Cambridge, MA)
Rabbi Elisabeth Weiss Stern (Cambridge, MA)
Rabbi Everett E. Gendler (Great Barrington, MA)
Rabbi Howard A. Berman (Jamaica Plain, MA)
Rabbi Victor Hillel (Reinstein Jamaica Plain, MA)
Rabbi Neil Kominsky (Lowell, MA)
Rabbi Herman J. Blumberg (Malden, MA)
Rabbi Gary Alan Mazo (Marstons Mills, MA)
Rabbi Michele E Lenke (Needham, MA)
Rabbi Raphael Joshua Kanter (New Bedford, MA)
Rabbi Jeff Foust (Newton, MA)
Rabbi David M. Gordis (Newton, MA)
Rabbi Arthur (Green Newton, MA)
Cantor Margery Auerbach (Silver Spring, MA)0
Rabbi Caryn Broitman (Vineyard Haven, MA)
Cantor Hollis Suzanne (Schachner Wayland, MA)
Rabbi Toba Spitzer (West Newton, MA)
Rabbi Brian Walt (West Tisbury, MA)
Rabbi Henry A Zoob (Westwood, MA)
Rabbi Jeffrey Wolfson Goldwasser (Williamstown, MA)
Rabbi Rim Meirowitz (Winchester, MA)
Rabbi Elizabeth (Bolton Baltimore, MD)
Rabbi Gerald Serotta (Chevy Chase, MD)
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner (Kensington, MD)
Rabbi David Mivasair (Monkton, MD)
Rabbi David Shneyer (Rockville, MD)
Rabbi Binyamin Biber (Silver Spring, MD)
Cantor Sue Roemer (Silver Spring, MD)
Rabbi Scott Sperling (Takoma Park, MD)
Rabbi H. Philip Berkowitz (Kennebunkport, ME)
Rabbi Amita Jarmon (Rockland, ME)
Rabbi Robert Dobrusin (Ann Arbor, MI)
Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris (Farmington Hills, MI)
Rabbi Tamara Ruth Kolton (Farmington Hills, MI)
Rabbi Norman T. Roman (West Bloomfield, MI)
Rabbi Amy Eilberg (Mendota Heights, MN)
Rabbi Renee H. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker (St. Paul, MN)
Rabbi Randy Craig Fleisher (St. Louis, MO)
Rabbi Joshua Samuel Taub (St. Louis, MO)
Rabbi Jen Feldman (Chapel Hill, NC)
Rabbi Frank A. Fischer (Chapel Hill, NC)
Rabbi Judith Schindler (Charlotte, NC)
Rabbi John S. Friedman (Durham, NC)
Rabbi Jonathan Malino (Greensboro, NC)
Rabbi Philip J Bentley (Hendersonville, NC)
Rabbi Andrew Vogel Ettin (Pfafftown, NC)
Rabbi Eric M. Solomon (Raleigh, NC)
Rabbi Allan Press (Danville, NH)
Rabbi Michael Z. P. Tayvah (Belle Mead, NJ)
Rabbi Amy Joy Small (Chatham, NJ)
Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz (Cherry Hill, NJ)
Rabbi Steven N. Fineblum (Cinnaminson, NJ)
Rabbi Debra R. Hachen (Closter, NJ)
Rabbi Daniel Epstein (Fair Lawn, NJ)
Rabbi Barry Friedman (Hopatcong, NJ)
Rabbi Elliott Tepperman (Montclair, NJ)
Rabbi Gordon Yaffe (Oakhurst, NJ)
Rabbi James S. Diamond (Princeton, NJ)
Rabbi Ruth Gais (Summit, NJ)
Rabbi Stuart Weinberg Gershon (Summit, NJ)
Rabbi Lawrence Troster (Teaneck, NJ)
Rabbi Peter Berg Washington (Township, NJ)
Rabbi Shefa Gold Jemez (Springs, NM)
Rabbi Malka T. Drucker (Santa Fe, NM)
Rabbi Ben Morrow (Santa Fe, NM)
Rabbi Donald P. Cashman (Albany, NY)
Rabbi Robert J. Gluck (Albany, NY)
Rabbi Douglas E. Krantz (Armonk, NY)
Rabbi Joshua Gutoff (Brooklyn, NY)
Cantor Samuel E Levine (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Jeffrey M Marker (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Sue Oren (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Regina L. Sandler-Phillips (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Drorah Setel (Buffalo, NY)
Rabbi Howard I Needleman (Commack, NY)
Rabbi Jennifer Jaech (Croton-on-Hudson, NY)
Rabbi Jan R Uhrbach (East Hampton, NY)
Cantor Richard E. Rosenfield (Geneva, NY)
Rabbi Milton Feierstein (Gloversville, NY)
Rabbi Renni S. Altman (Great Neck, NY)
Rabbi Jerome K Davidson (Great Neck, NY)
Rabbi Theodore Tsuruoka (Great Neck, NY)
Rabbi Aubrey L. Glazer (Harrison, NY)
Rabbi Jonathan P Slater (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY)
Rabbi Valerie Lieber (Hollis, NY)
Rabbi Yael Romer (Kingston, NY)
Rabbi Jeff Roth (New Paltz, NY)
Rabbi Jan David Katzew (New Rochelle, NY)
Rabbi Julia Andelman (New York, NY)
Rabbi Gill Brociner (New York, NY)
Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein (New York, NY)
Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen (New York, NY)
Rabbi Judith Barbara Edelstein (New York, NY)
Rabbi Michael E. Feinberg (New York, NY)
Rabbi Andrew M Hahn (New York, NY)
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum (New York, NY)
Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs (New York, NY)
Rabbi Chava Koster (New York, NY)
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon (New York, NY)
Rabbi Dennis N. Math (New York, NY)
Rabbi William Plevan (New York, NY)
Rabbi Yael Ridberg (New York, NY)
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn (New York, NY)
Rabbi Peter Schweitzer (New York, NY)
Rabbi Burt Aaron Siegel (New York, NY)
Rabbi Joel E Soffin (New York, NY)
Rabbi Felicia Sol (New York, NY)
Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky (New York, NY)
Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker (New York, NY)
Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig (New York, NY)
Rabbi Shaul Magid (Ocean Beach, NY)
Rabbi Heidi Waldmann (Plattsburgh, NY)
Rabbi Renee Beth Edelman (Port Washington, NY)
Rabbi Ariel J. Friedlander (Port Washington, NY)
Rabbi Irwin A. Zeplowitz (Port Washington, NY)
Rabbi Rena S. Blumenthal (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Rabbi Paul Golomb (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Rabbi David Greenstein (Rego Park, NY)
Rabbi Marc Gruber (Rockville Centre, NY)
Rabbi Daniel Gropper (Rye, NY)
Rabbi Linda Motzkin (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein Saratoga Springs, NY)
Rabbi Stephen A. Klein (Scarsdale, NY)
Rabbi Matt Cutler (Schenectady, NY)
Rabbi Debora S. Gordon (Troy, NY)
Rabbi Tom Heyn (Loveland, OH)
Rabbi Barry Leff (Toledo, OH)
Rabbi Benjamin H Barnett (Corvallis, OR)
Rabbi Maurice Harris (Eugene, OR)
Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin (Eugene, OR)
Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield (Portland, OR)
Rabbi David Kominsky (Portland, OR)
Cantor Linda Shivers (Portland, OR)
Rabbi Ariel Stone (Portland, OR)
Rabbi Joseph A. Wolf (Portland, OR)
Rabbi Anna S Rosenfield (Ambridge, PA)
Rabbi Myriam Klotz Bala (Cynwyd, PA)
Rabbi Margot Stein Bala (Cynwyd, PA)
Rabbi Meryl M Crean (Elkins Park, PA)
Rabbi Joshua Waxman Fort (Washington, PA)
Rabbi Michael Michlin (Hazleton, PA)
Rabbi Linda K. Steigman (Kingston, PA)
Rabbi Linda Potemken (Media, PA)
Rabbi Sandy Roth (New Hope, PA)
Rabbi Rebbeca T Alpert (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Marjorie Berman (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Phyllis Berman (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Debrah Anne Cohen (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Shai Gluskin (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Leonard Gordon (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Erin D Hirsh (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Linda J Holtzman (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Michael G. Holzman (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Alan LaPayover (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Sarra Lev (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Yael Levy (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Amber Powers (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi George M. Stern (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Jeff Sultar (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Art Donsky (Pittsburgh, PA)
Rabbi Daniel Aronson (Wyncote, PA)
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer (Wyncote, PA)
Rabbi Jacob J. Staub (Wyncote, PA)
Rabbi James Bruce Rosenberg (Barrington, RI)
Cantor Elliot Taubman (Block Island, RI)
Rabbi Alan Flam (Providence, RI)
Rabbi Alvan Kaunfer (Providence, RI)
Rabbi Rachel D. Goldenberg (Dallas, TX)
Rabbi Nancy Kasten (Dallas, TX)
Rabbi Shaul Osadchey (Houston, TX)
Rabbi Sue E. Levy (Webster, TX)
Rabbi Brett R. Isserow (Alexandria, VA)
Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman (Petersburg, VA)
Rabbi Arthur Z. Steinberg (Portsmouth, VA)
Rabbi Rosalind A. Gold (Reston, VA)
Rabbi Carla Theodore (Sperryville, VA)
Rabbi Marc Lee Raphael (Williamsburg, VA)
Rabbi Michael M. Cohen (Manchester Center, VT)
Cantor David Serkin-Poole (Bellevue, WA)
Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman (Everett, WA)
Rabbi Tsurah L August (Seattle, WA)
Rabbi Jill Borodin (Seattle, WA)
Rabbi Ted Falcon (Seattle, WA)
Rabbi Hillel Gamoran (Seattle, WA)
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz (Seattle, WA)
Rabbi Zari M. Weiss (Seattle, WA)
Rabbi Dena Feingold (Kenosha, WI)
Rabbi Jonathan Arthur Biatch (Madison, WI)
Rabbi Darryl Arthur Crystal (Madison, WI)
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman (Madison, WI)
Rabbi David Brusin (Milwaukee, WI)

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