This year, I was chosen by the New Israel Fund of Canada as one of three “young” adults to be the country’s Naomi Chazan Fellows. Honoured to be selected, I am charged to learn about the work of some of the New Israel Fund (NIF) grantees and share that knowledge within my own community.
As both the oldest participant and the only clergyperson on the tour, I found many of my opinions and perspectives differed from the other fellows. I have always been socially and politically left-wing in my personal beliefs, but when it came to Israel, I had been brought up to believe that “wherever we stand, we stand with Israel.”
Questioning and critiquing Israel was not something I felt was appropriate for me to do, and yet I always knew there had to be more truth than what I had learned. I finally came to the realization that if I want to call myself a leader of the Jewish people, I need to learn the facts, on-the-ground, about the Jewish homeland.
This fellowship is the first step in that process.