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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Finding a Peaceful Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Center for Progressive Leadership
CPL Alumnus Steve Masters has been working nationally to build a pro-peace, pro-israel movement in the United States
For over twenty years Steve Masters has been a leader in the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement in the United States.
He has met with Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers, been a passionate advocate to Congress, and written and spoken extensively on the conflict. And in August of 2006, the board of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the largest national grassroots Jewish organization dedicated to promoting a two-state solution in the Middle East, unanimously selected Steve Masters to be the new President of the Board.
A Lifelong Passion
A lawyer in Philadelphia by day, Steve has been active in the Jewish community for his entire life.
In the 1980s, Steve was involved with New Jewish Agenda, an organization that helped move the idea of a two-state solution from the radical fringes of U.S. foreign policy to the mainstream. In 1990 Steve co-produced the first Israeli film festival in Philadelphia and later that year co-founded the Shalom Coalition, a Philadelphia progressive Jewish response to the first Gulf War.
From 1991 to 1993, he was Associate Director of the Jewish Peace Lobby in Silver Spring Maryland. In 2008, he helped found J Street, the first dedicated political organization focused on electing pro-peace and pro-Israel candidates to Congress and using the internet to push for change.
A New Administration and a New Role
These days Steve is focused on setting the strategic direction of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom as the President of the Board.
Brit Tzedek’s mission is to organize and mobilize American Jews to support vigorous U.S. initiatives to bring about a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Steve was one of the 16 founders of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom back in 2002. Since its inception, it has used a Saul Alinsky approach to organizing and created a grassroots network of 40,000 members across the country, including 25% of all non-orthodox rabbis.
Since the election of President Obama, Steve says that Brit Tzedek has been focused on building support for President Obama’s peace initiatives around Israel/Palestine.
Most recently, they led a delegation of 20 national leaders from across the country to lobby key House leaders to pass a resolution supporting the selection of Senator George Mitchell as the new U.S. peace envoy to the region and to persuade Senate leaders to sponsor a similar iniative in their chamber.
A Changing Tide
Recent polling by J Street looked for the first time at what that level of support really means when it comes to the robust give and take of diplomatic pressure. The J Street poll revealed that 70% of American Jews support the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict even if it means the United States exerting pressure on both the Israelis and Arabs to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace.
These poll results mean that Brit Tzedek has an even more important role than ever in helping lead the way for building popular support for the Obama Administration’s aggressive diplomacy to broker a peaceful solution.
Steve was a member of the first CPL Pennsylvania Political Leaders Fellowship and credits the training and development that he received with enabling him to rise to national leadership in the national Jewish peace movement.
You can learn more about Brit Tzedek here: www.btvshalom.org
Steve was a member of the first CPL Pennsylvania Political Leaders Fellowship and credits the training and development that he received with his increased role in the national Jewish peace movement.