More than 30 area synagogues are joining forces for an initiative to empower community members to counter assaults on Israel’s legitimacy.
A film and discussion series and an advocacy summit are part of Step Up For Israel MetroWest, which has been launched by the Community Relations Committee of MetroWest in response to increased assaults on Israel’s right to exist.
“Misinformation and false accusations are being circulated that make many in our community feel uncomfortable,” said CRC director Melanie Roth Gorelick. “People are conflicted about the accusations leveled against Israel in the media, on campuses, at the UN, or even at work.”
The aim of the initiative, she said, is to educate people on how to respond “when Israel is accused of committing atrocities or of being a racist state.”
Each participating synagogue and organization will offer the Film Mini-Course Series — funded by Peter Feinberg and Jodi Cooperman — which the CRC is providing in partnership with Jerusalem Online University and the Hasbara Fellowships.
The films, to be followed by a moderated discussion, are: Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus, A State Is Born, Searching for Peace in the Middle East, Israel and the West, and Communicating for Israel.
David Dranikoff, chair of the CRC’s Israel & World Affairs Committee, said, “The CRC is providing an educational opportunity to enable community members to learn the facts and grapple with the hard issues.”
Elliot Mathias, program chair, said, “By taking part in the Step Up for Israel initiative, people will have the facts and ‘how-to’s’ to answer Israel’s critics. They will have the knowledge and confidence to feel proud of Israel and to inspire others to feel the same.”
At the free Step Up For Israel Advocacy Summit — cosponsored by American Jewish Committee on Sunday, Oct. 16, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Aidekman campus in Whippany — experts from more than 14 leading advocacy organizations will address the dangers Israel faces and provide the tools to speak up for Israel with confidence. Optional advocacy training workshops will take place 2-3:30; register at www.ujcnj.org/summit.
For more information, visit www.ujcnj.org/SUFI.