Saturday, May 26 - Sunday, May 27 JCC in Manhattan
Join the New Israel Fund for sessions exploring the Jewish roots of our social justice work in Israel:
Chosen for Change: Divine Election, Social Justice, and the Future of Israel Saturday, May 26th @ 11:15 pm
The idea of the Chosen People is one of the most profound -- and profoundly controversial -- tenets of Judaism. Sometimes misunderstood as a claim of superiority or a mandate for conquest, it is frequently rejected or adopted without much discussion. And yet, divine election is at the heart not only of the Jewish past, but of the Jewish future as well: As Israel struggles with a string of existential crises, the Jewish state and its supporters would do well to look to the notion of chosenness as a blueprint for change. Liel Leibovitz, the co-author, with Todd Gitlin, of The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election, will give a brief history of this controversial idea and discuss the ways in which it could be applied to promote social justice, equality, and peace.
Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine and the author of several books, including The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election, co-written with Todd Gitlin. He's also an assistant professor of communications at New York University, researching the ontology of video games, which means he spends more time playing games than a grown man should.
After Schechter: Approaches to LGBTQ Inclusion in Israel Sunday, May 27 @ 12:30 am
Five years after Conservative seminaries in the United States decided to ordain lesbian and gay rabbinical candidates, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem has finally followed suit. Mikie Goldstein, an Israeli student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and NIF Rabbinic Intern, will explore the current options open to religiously oriented LGBTQ members of Israeli society, and what can be done to promote further inclusion. Explore religious texts and Conservative responsa around these issues, and learn how activists are building a more pluralistic Jewish community in Israel.
Mikie Goldstein is an Israeli rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. Born in the UK and raised in a modern Orthodox home, Mikie made aliya in 1989 to Jerusalem, where it was difficult to find a spiritual home as a religious gay man. Mikie has been active in the Israel AIDS Task Force, Jerusalem Open House and Masorti (Conservative) Movement and will return to Israel after his ordination, in 2014, to work as a pulpit rabbi in a Masorti synagogue. Mikie and his partner were married in Jerusalem, in a religious ceremony, in 1995.