Sue Swartz's Reflection

Brit Tzedek helped me feel not-alone. After the start of the second intifada, a small group of us in our small college town in the Midwest gathered together to talk about our pain, fears, disappointments, and desire to do something. Some of us were active in the synagogue, others of us unaffiliated; some of us observant, others secular; some with a long-time interest in Israel and others with newly awakened concerns. We struggled – both individually and together – with how best to express what we were feeling and expand the conversation to a wider audience. We knew that we couldn’t be the only group of Jews affected by events in Israel/Palestine – what a relief when we happened upon a recently formed Brit Tzedek v’Shalom website! Here was a way to connect with others struggling in their local communities. Here was a way to pool resources and strategies, to share in the sometimes overwhelming project of confronting change in our own hearts and in our community.

Here was a way to speak as Jews and with Jews about difficult questions, to open up a space for a different vision of the future. It was thrilling and comforting, both – and after many years of activism with Brit Tzedek, I know that this sense of connection was important for so many of our members and leaders. I feel privileged – and blessed – to have been an integral part of an organization filled from coast to coast with passionate, thoughtful, creative, committed people who did so much to redefine what it meant to be Pro-Israel – and did it with much courage and so little money!

Sue Swartz