The Institute for Living Judaism in Brooklyn

ILJB is a non-denominational center for learning that aims to promote tolerance, moderation, and pluralism in furthering the study and practice of our tradition

We offer quality programs to strengthen and expand Brooklyn's Jewish community

"Your vision in putting these programs together is altogether admirable" Rabbi Gordon Tucker
Temple Israel of White Plains

Peace to Those Far and Near: Israel and American Jews at a Crossroads

Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 at 3 PM, ILJB Conference, co-sponsored with Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Pl., Bklyn

Aaron David Miller, Middle East Analyst
Ben Cohen, American Jewish Committee
Michael Salberg, Anti-Defamation League
Isaac Luria, JStreet
Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Temple Israel of White Plains

Aaron David Miller delivered a thoughtful and thought-provoking keynote address, highlighting several points. We in the diaspora do not dare take a hopeless stance vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because we thereby are consigning future generations of Israelis to lives of siege and combat, from which we have a safe distance. The move towards peace must be fueled by the parties themselves, not an American Administration, and the strength of the alliance between our countries, still strong and much wider than just the Jewish Community, is based on Values Affinity, not sentimentality, economic interests, or pressure from lobbies/interest groups.

The panel of experts then convened and the following questions were posed:

  1. Will it be possible for Israel to retain it's democratic ideals and still remain a Jewish State?
  2. Is Peter Beinart's criticism of the American Jewish establishment's failure to engage young liberal Jews valid and honest in its intent?
  3. Is there a single standard for being pro-Israel and can we discuss our differences in public?
  4. Has the Obama Administration’s efforts to produce a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians been too aggressive towards Israel or not aggressive enough?

The speakers were eloquent, passionate and heterodox in their answers, making for a most stimulating conference.To obtain a CD of the entire event, or of the prevous Religious Pluralism in Israel Conference at a nominal price, contact us at