Israel Dialogue

The heart of the Jewish tradition, as foretold by the story of Jacob's name change to Israel, is to wrestle. The goal of the Israel Dialogue Group is to create a safe space where TBE members, with their different views, can come together for meaningful, guided, conversations on issues related to modern Israel.  The purpose of these conversations is not "winning the debate" but, rather, learning from others.

Contact Bob Orkand, [email protected] or Ben Pearlman, [email protected] for more information.


Upcoming Events

A History of Israel—The Journey Continues
with Rabbi Bob Orkand
Wednesday evenings, March 7, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18 
7:30-9:00 pm

Last Fall, Rabbi Bob Orkand taught a popular history of Israel class at TBE which covered the years before the founding of the State until the Sinai War.  He will continue the journey in March and April with the Sinai War through the Six Day War and beyond. The story is a fascinating one and helps us understand the forces that helped create the Israel of today.  No prior knowledge is necessary, nor is participation in last semester’s classes a requirement.  All are welcome! 

RSVP by March 16 to Lynn Burke


The Fragile Dialogue—A Conversation about Israel
with  Rabbi Bob Orkand
Tuesday mornings, April 24-May 29
10:00-11:30 am

Four polarizing events have made it extraordinarily difficult for Jews to speak comfortably with each other about Israel: the 2014 Gaza War, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the 2016 elections in America, and the breaking of an agreement to build an egalitarian prayer space at the Wall in Jerusalem.

Even before 2014, Jews, especially on the progressive side of the spectrum, had been searching for a comfortable space to publicly express their relationship with Israel without being shouted down.  This is especially true today. The purpose of this conversation is to provide that safe place.

The starting point for our conversation will be a new book published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis:  The Fragile Dialogue: New Voices of Liberal Judaism. The twenty essays in the book were written by relatively young men and women from Israel and the larger Jewish world whose political views range from the liberal left to the liberal right.  It is our hope that reading essays from the book will spark conversation about what it means to have a relationship with Israel in 2018.

Fee:  $16.00 for the required text. 

RSVP to Lynn Burke by April 18.